I know it's only a calm between the storms, from one fever's spike meltdown to the next.
But in that calm, we choose joy. It's what we as Easter people are called to do, rise above the temporary trials and tribulations that bend us low and, instead, reach up to claim the joy that is to be found if only we first seek it.
Clammy bodies break the huddle of multiple blankets and escape into the free to catch the last few rays of sunshine at day's end. Somber echoes of tears and tissue noses are replaced with the musical high-pitched lilt of children's giggles and happy laughter.
In the cool of evening, the three that just a half hour before sought to layer all their bodies atop mine miraculously pull energy from some invisible reserve. With it, they run after air-filled glycerin orbs that rise and fall on the breeze.
It's just dish washing soap. But carried aloft on invisible currents, it's so much more. It is a chance for joy. Yes, joy in the simplicity of soap.
They leap, chase, dance after bubbles with faces stretched tight and arms held high.
And when daddy steps into the fray, joins our foursome, oh how much brighter the joy.Later, Amelia sees the photos on the computer screen and recognizes the same peculiarity that made me grab my camera in the first place.
"Look!" she says again and again, "I'm smiling. Emerson is smiling. We're happy, mommy."In a rough week of illness and likely another rough night ahead, I need to hold this moment, to remember that this is what is on either side of the valley He has me walking through.
I rub my hand on her slender shoulder and respond as I always do. "Of course we are happy. We're a family."
Unprompted, she repeats the memorized conclusion to my mini-lecture.
"And families love each other."
Yes, we do. In sickness and in health.