Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Greatest Joy

ardie19Forgive me, but I was just watching the video of Alan Jackson singing "Remember When".  Dorothy wrote something to Mike a while back that made me think, cry, and express gratitude to the Lord for Ardie.  She made a stand and said something to the effect of, "but that is the man that I love."  If you give a person a thousand reasons not to love you and not that many to love you, your gratitude must run very deep, as mine does for her.  What does this have to do with my greatest joy?  Nothing has brought me more joy in this life than to be loved by this great woman unconditionally.  I simply do not understand how she did it, but she did.  Love, given without condition, is the greatest gift we can give to each other.  I feel that same love from my children, in spite of the fact that I have given them far too many reasons not to feel that way about me.  It is amazing.

My second greatest joy is when something good happens to other people.  I really don't care who, and I don't mean they just won the jackpot on Price is Right.  I wrote a young woman with whom I had worked many years ago and had not had any contact with since.  At the time, she was finding marriage a very difficult endeavor.  She wrote back and talked mostly about her family and how happy she was now in her marriage.  The joy I felt lasted several days.  There is just nothing better than seeing joy come into other people's lives.  I work a horribly mundane job.  Most people look at those of us that do my work as some kind of lower form of life.  I am just grateful to be able to go to work each day and enjoy the company of the people I work with.  When I work at the customer service desk, as I sometimes must, I look closely at every person that walks up to me.  I try very diligently to feel the spirit to see if there is anything I can say, in an appropriate way, to make their day a little better.  Most of the time nothing comes to mind, but once in a while I am given the right thing to say.  A girl came to the desk to cash a check.  She was on the phone with someone and having a very bad conversation.  She got off and I asked for her ID.  She was very belligerent in giving it to me.  I looked at the picture, and then at her, and then back at the picture.  I looked at her and asked her if the girl in the picture was really her.  She said something about, "Who did I think it looked like?"  I said it was hard to tell because the girl in the picture was smiling and could she help me out by smiling for me.  She looked at me like I was out of my head for a second and then smiled, first just with her mouth, but when I smiled back, the smile came from way down inside.  WOW! that sounded like a lot of bragging, and I really, truly, hate that.  I'm just saying, nothing brings me more joy than seeing joy come into the lives of others.  If I can help in some small, insignificant way, I will try and do it.  Pass it on.

PS - Here's the rub.  If I really care about bringing joy to others, why don't I remember anybody's birthday, even after Heidi makes me a beautiful birthday calendar.  I should work as hard for my family as I do for strangers.