Sun. Dec 8th, 2019

JOY and Cheesecake

My Jesus is a Wild Man. – Brennan Manning

There’s a wild orchard of cherry trees in So. California that you can go and pay $5.00 when in season, and pick as many cherries as you want.  We used to go early morning to beat the crowd.  We went wild because there were so many waiting to be picked.  [restrict] We ate some fresh from the tree. While we’re picking cherries, I tell my daughter how my mother used to make jam using Edebsachel.  I’d fill a basket with Edebsachel from our backyard, washed and cleaned them for her.  I really enjoyed helping her making jam. Those were precious moments with my mother especially when she lets me stir the pot…Alii ngmekeald.  I knew she delighted in her little helper.  She loved cooking and taught me almost everything I know plus a reminder, “A de redil e rungalk eng ungil al keltmokl a umenged sel bo de merek el meruul a kall.”  I still hate messy kitchen to this day.  But I still can’t make pie crust if my life depended on it.  Some things just don’t take.   Oh it’s okay.

Joy (delighted to be with) helped me understand what it means to speak life in relationships. From a brain perspective, joy stimulates the growth of the brain systems involved in character formation, identity consolidation, and moral behavior.

Dr. Wilder writes, “Joy is a “glad to be together” state amplified between two minds that are glad to be together at that moment.  Joy is relational. High joy is found in smiles, play, and love.  Low joy is found in depression, aggression, and shame.  Joy, like any powerful internal drive, can be combined with other experiences to provide many flavors, but the signature of joy is that we are sharing the moment with someone who is glad we are there.  Joy makes eyes sparkle and bonds form. Joy is equally powerful when we are in painful states. We feel very keenly if there is anyone who is glad to be with us when we are hurting.  When we settle into the arms of a friend who rushed to the emergency room while we waited to see whether a loved one would survive, we weep with relief rather than bounce with euphoria, but it is joy all the same.  Someone is with us, and we are not alone.  Joy then lets us “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep,” for we are deeply united.  Perhaps it is the lack of appreciation for the relational character of joy or our tendency to view spiritual formation as a solitary experience that has kept us from including joy building as part of our spiritual formation.”

My cousin-friend and my niece came the other day with a Strawberry Cheesecake.  We ate, we laughed, and we talked about weight loss (olekoi) among other things.  Pure high joy.

It is in lack of joy that terrifies us-, making us critical of our loved ones, our fellow believers, which in fact bring attention to ourselves, rather than on to our Savior.

Where can we find this wild orchard?  In the heart of God!  [/restrict]