“When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us?” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
I think part of joy is being okay with not knowing the answers or how any given story within the Greater Story will end. It’s having peace in the midst of so much that remains unresolved and unexplained. And if that doesn’t work, eat a cookie. That always makes me feel better. So here we are coming down to the last few blogs of the series, starting at #801.
801) That a colossal and epic fiasco such as King David could be called later “a man after God’s own heart,” proving that what matters isn’t so much how big your failure was, but how great God is to turn even that into something praiseworthy and good.
802) The avocado lime ranch dressing I had on my Cobb salad tonight at Chick-fil-A.
803) The fact that Aslan a.k.a. Jesus isn’t safe but He’s good.
804) The amazing illustrations by Alan Lee in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit commemorative editions.
805) When in the middle of an already fantastic Buddy Miller/Jim Lauderdale/Patty Griffin concert they brought out Robert Plant to do a few songs. Only in Nashville.
806) Walking in downtown Nashville at night in the rain.
807) How the love of Abba Father for His children will never come to an end.
808) Looking through old high school and college yearbooks.
809) The Neverending Story.
810) When my church celebrates those rare couples who have been married 50 years or longer (and how much collective wisdom is in one room at one time on those nights).
811) Thinking about a particular song and then hearing it on the radio.
812) Tuesday nights.
813) Nights that turn into mornings, friends that turn into family, dreams that turn into reality, and likes that turn into love (borrowed from a Facebook post).
814) The episode of Friends with the couch– “Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!”
815) Reading through the Catholic Bible in 2013 (or as I like to call it, The Director’s Cut of the Bible).
816) That if I love God with everything and love my neighbor as I love myself I fulfill the Whole Law.
817) That Jesus already fulfilled the Whole Law in my place and traded His perfection for my poor efforts.
818) Heaven being described as that feeling you get on the first day of summer break from school and knowing that feeling will last forever.
819) The neverending possibility of God breaking through into my life at any moment.
820) Cheese crackers.
821) Having a car with 127,000 miles on it.
822) Being left-handed (at least when it comes to writing and eating).
823) The way Mike Glenn used the lyrics to a Jackson Browne song so effectively in his sermon last Sunday.
824) Marvin the Martian and his tennis shoes always wanting to blow up the Earth.
825) Not being married to any of the Kardashians.
826) The occasional scary movie.
827) Everything Elvis ever recorded at Sun Studio.
828) Johnny Cash’s autobiography (the one called Cash).
829) The way my cat looks at me sometimes as if to say, “Seriously, dude?”
830) The recent fact I learned that every face you dream about is of someone you’ve seen before, even if only for a fleeting moment.
831) Mustard-sized faith that moves mountains.
832) Just about all the movies Tom Hanks made in the 80’s.
833) Always having a second chance because of Jesus.
834) The movie Clueless.
835) “The Living Years” by Mike + The Mechanics.