Joy Is Not Made To Be a Crumb
May 2, 2023
Yesterday evening, our monthly deacon meeting was opened with a time of devotion by Jackie Eckholm, who shared the following poem by Mary Oliver titled “Don’t Hesitate.”
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate.
Give in to it.
There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be.
We are not wise, and not very often kind.
And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left.
Perhaps this is its way of fighting back,
That sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world.
It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins.
Anyway, that’s often the case.
Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty.
Joy is not made to be a crumb.
That last line resonated with me…Joy is not made to be a crumb.
Joy is meant to be a large loaf of bread. There is love and joy in the kneading, the baking, and the sharing of it with others, in the breaking of the bread, in the large chunks ripped off and savored together. This calls to mind, for me, celebrating the sacrament of communion. It is a hopeful and joyful meal. It is a meal of abundance, of grace, meant to be shared widely.
Mary Oliver tells us that when we do feel joy, we should give in to it, indulge in it! Let the seemingly small and unexpected joys that take you by surprise fill you up to the point where you overflow, and you end up spilling joy on those around you.
There is so much in life we cannot control, but the decision to lean into, to indulge in the joys of our lives, is ours to make, it is ours to share.
I was thankful for this reminder yesterday, and the tone of joy that it set for our deacon meeting. I am thankful for this reminder today, as I write this to you. And I am thankful that we are gifted with this reminder each and every time we celebrate communion, which as it happens, we will do again this coming Sunday.
Indulge in the joys of your life. Let your joy be like a loaf of bread with the ability to feed 5,000. Let your joy beget more joy through the sharing of it with others.