Monday, June 23, 2008

Contagious Joy

I work with an amazing woman named Cheryl. She is a recent addition to the Westside Church staff. She is also a recent (ish) widow and a very smiley person. I hadn't really been able to connect much with her or hear her story...until last week.

Once a quarter, the discipleship team (which I am on) gets together to talk and pray and share about our ministries and our lives. When it was Cheryl's turn my whole day changed. She started out by saying how happy she was to be working at the church, that everyday she woke up excited to come to work, excited to be working for the Kingdom. She shared about her neighbor that she's been praying for - that he's seen God's work in her life and wants to talk more about it. She shared how God had blessed her with great friends and neighbors. Everything she said was just dripping with enthusiasm...and I started to feel a little sheepish. I have had a pretty stressful couple of weeks with work and relationships and just life. And I'll admit, I didn't wake up every morning excited to drive to work. And then there's Cheryl - a woman who could be in despair. She's lost her husband and lives alone, supports herself. I'm sure she has many burdens I couldn't begin to understand, and yet I have never seen her frown. In that moment I felt the Holy Spirit gather up some of the joy surrounding her, and breathe it on me. It was like a cool breeze on a scorching day - it makes you thankful, it makes you remember to slow down, to "stop and smell the roses."

Now, whenever I see Cheryl I am reminded of how good God is, how trivial the stuff I tend to freak out about is, and how refreshing joy really is.

Cheryl, I know you probably will never read this blog, but today I am thankful for you!


Bo said...

Amen! I thought the same thing in that meeting. Everyone deserves to work with a Cheryl...but they have to find their own (or I guess they could become their own)! :)

nicolettebw said...

this is my most favorite blog post ever

joann renee said...

I know! I love Cheryl too! I didn't know any of her story, though. But everytime I walk down the hall, not even strictly past her door (cause it's down that little hall off of the big hall) she smiles and hollers out a "Good morning, Joann!" I've begun looking around the corner for her everytime I pass by, and I'm always disappointed if she's not sitting at her desk.