God blessed me with lots of brothers and sisters.
They came in every shape and variety. I’m the oldest girl, second child. I grew up being a watchful older sister, probably picked up that role as an eight year old, about the time my sister Priscilla and I walked to elementary school together. I’d look out for curbs, cracks in the sidewalk, the traffic. I looked at life with serious eyes. I guess we were pretty typical as sisters: she was my best friend at times, my worst enemy at others. If I did anything out of line, she’d tell on me.
Priscilla, a tall redhead, had long legs and high energy, so it was a challenge to keep up with her. Like many children, she loved to laugh. How she would throw back her head and let laughter roll and tumble. It would cascade and cascade like water. Everything was fa-la-la-la-la.
Hard to keep up with her amount of joy. She would become serious when spending her pennies at a neighborhood grocery store, then pick up her laughter the minute she jumped down the steps. She lived in the moment and laughed at the impossible.
A few months ago, I was with her and another sister for an overnight. Notes of her laughter echoed upstairs and down. Her joy is ever with her. I am convinced it is her secret for living in this world. She has hard times like everyone, but she flies above them.
Many children have joy. I aspire to it. I believe God gives it, so I ask for it. It’s a fruit of the Spirit. Laughter without worry. A beautiful thing. I heard someone call it oxygenated grace.
All this to say, many of us need to loosen up, take ourselves lightly, and laugh. Here we are in the middle of Advent, and because the Christ Child came, we can have this thing called joy, no matter our circumstances.
I have a choice. You have a choice. I can fuss about the weights and darkness in this season, or I can do it my sister’s way: rise above the worrisome and keep my eyes on Baby Jesus—the reason for the season. I can take delight in being a child of God.
Advent is a wonderful time for believers. I invite you to listen for angel wings, look for love, laugh heartily, and sing along with me, “Fa-la-la-la-la, la, la, la, la.”
Photo by Pat Durmon, at Lone Rock Baptist Church, Lone Rock, Arkansas. December 2016.