… is a phrase I could not shake last week. I was filled with it, up and over, brimming, beaming – on the anniversary of my daughter’s death. That is completely unreasonable, against all human wisdom, makes no sense.

And yet, it is a beautifully curious phrase. I am drawn to it, to puzzle and ponder. It is the third time in two weeks I had felt it. And each time it was contrary to the expected emotion. The first time, I was helping lead worship for the single mom’s group at our church. I was to speak for a minute or two before a particular song about why it means so much to me, and then I was to solo the first verse.

I had typed out my thoughts, but totally misplaced them! “I guess God wants me to wing it!”, I told the worship leader I was assisting. Consequently, my words were muddled and rambly (I like to make up my own words), and I started the song in the wrong key. Pretty. Normally, I would be embarrassed and replay the whole scene, focusing on my mistakes, feeling bad.

But no, unreasonable joy overtook me. I could see on the faces of the women in the room that despite my faulty efforts, I was resonating with them. And I knew that it was not me. It was God having an affect on them, encouraging them, inspiring them, using my story. And there was a connection there, even though I didn’t actually connect with them individually. It was God connecting with humanity, and this connection trumped everything. The focus was on God, not me, and I was off the hook for my so-called screw-ups.

I felt unreasonable joy a second time when I was scheduled to speak briefly to the women’s bible study groups. I had prepared my three to five minute meditation a week or more early. The night before, however, while putting a sick kid to bed, I thought I was going to have to cancel. I sent out the email letting people know I wouldn’t be there, ate a late dinner, and went to bed without reviewing my notes.

When morning came, the kid’s fever had miraculously vanished! I had prayed for this, so where was my faith? Why was I surprised? Nevertheless, I wasn’t sure whether to send him to school or not, and finally made the call (It’s a go!) about 20 minutes before it was time to leave. Lunches had to be made, snacks had to be gathered, the I’m-going-to-be-there-after-all email had to get sent, etc.

So out the door we went. Unshowered, unmadeup, in a thrown-together outfit, and wreaking of my husband’s super-ultra-mega strong man deodorant, I dropped off the kids, late. I *hate* to be late, and usually get very frazzled about it. But somehow, I have an odd, out-of-place peace. I don’t think too hard on it because I have just enough time to read through my notes once before I’m given my very own microphone.

And I think to myself, that God is up to something here. I guess he wants me to sort of wing it – again. Something about speaking from the heart? Something about sharing the real me, the messy me. And isn’t that who I relate to? The messy ones (the honest ones). Not the perfect, every-hair-in-place ones (are they hiding something?). I want to be the latter, but God isn’t letting me be who I think I should be. He’s showing me that “the light shines through better if the pot is cracked,” as a friend told me.

This unreasonable joy is the light of God spewing from my broken places. So I guess I have to accept myself as the crackpot I apparently am… which may be easier than I think, if my imperfections are redeemed when I allow them to become the very conduit of the blinding light of God’s unreasonable joy.

 


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