One of my favourite writers and theologians is C.S. Lewis (better known for his Narnia series of books about a fantasy land called Narnia and its great lion Aslan, who represents Christ in the stories). C.S. Lewis wrote many other books, one of them having the title “Surprised by Joy.” Well, last night, Sunday June 21st, I was surprised by joy!
Thinking that I was meeting my family members at Parkview’s parking lot – with the intention of leaving our vehicles there and walking down to Queen’s Park with our lawn chairs to catch-up with everyone – much to my surprise when rounding the corner from Ontario St. onto Parkview Drive, I see balloons and some decorations up outside the church! And I said in the car: “Oh, there’s something going on at the church! Something I didn’t know about!” And I’m thinking that perhaps it is a private party or get-together with a church member’s family or friends, and I’m also thinking – “Where will we park?” AND, it wasn’t until my son pulled into the church’s parking lot that the penny dropped. I said: “Is this what I think it is?” “Yes,” they said. “It really is? No kidding?” I was totally caught off guard and totally so surprised!!
When I got out of the car, there is a band playing Celtic Irish music, and some dear Parkview members putting up Bristol board signs with nice messages, and beautiful decorations, lovely crepe-paper flowers and balloons, with smiles and happy welcomes and cheeriness all around! And my kids hadn’t given me any clue spanning several weeks while all this beautiful send-off party was being planned! How wonderful it was! And the icing on the cake was when the drive-by parade began and I realized what was coming down the road! I thought I would cry. So many of you wonderful Parkview members came by with signs on your cars, and decorations, all waving and smiling, including an angel (!) standing up through the sunroof of one car looking tall and magnificent with beautiful golden wings waving in the breeze. What a sight! It was incredible. It was wonderful. Thank you everyone, who planned and participated in this amazing send-off for me!
I am basking in the joy of surprise. And wonder. And love. It is a wonderful feeling. Jesus offers us his joy – he says to remain in his love “so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete,” (John 15: 11). Jesus says this joy is found in love. His love.
May you also find some way to be surprised by joy. It may be you sharing your time, talents and efforts with someone else, for in the giving, you receive as well. May you be enveloped in joy in some way! It lightens your spirit and brings you happiness.
Thanks be to God!
Take care, keep well, and God bless us, every one! Rev. Mary