I live in America, the “land of opportunity,” and even though times are tough here, the vast majority of us are wealthy in comparison to other parts of the world. We not only have lists of things to choose from that are purported to bring us happiness, we have reams of lists.
But with all of this, are we really happy?
When I was young (scrolling, scrolling back) we had a woman who’d come to clean our house on occasion. Her name was Mrs. Barnes. She lived in a comparatively poor neighborhood in Washington D.C. and took several buses to get to our house in the Maryland suburbs. Though she wore a uniform when she cleaned, she always graced our doorstep dressed to-the-nines in the second-hand clothes my mother had given her the week before. She’d peel off her overcoat and turn like a runway model, beaming. “You see what your mother gave me? How does it look?”
She appreciated every little thing.
This woman cleaned like she polished the throne of God. Every muscle pushed against the dirt. All the while singing joyful hymns, praising her Creator. She would even come with craft projects for the spoiled children of her employers—us.
Compared to Mrs. Barnes, I had so much to be thankful for. So much that should have made me happy. And yet I wasn’t, because I lacked the thing that could fill my empty hole—a real relationship with a loving Savior.
Mrs. Barnes had that. It was evident in the Joy that busted from her polyester seems.
I want that kind of Joy. Not a “Happy becuz …” kind of emotion, but a no-matter-what sort of Joy. Not a fickle leave-me-when-times-are-tough, but a there-when-I-need-it-the-most, deep sort of goodness.
I need love. I need forgiveness. I need acceptance for who I am, with a prodding to help me be more.
I need Jesus.
Mrs. Barnes was not a great orator. She did not preach salvation to me. She lived it. And though she was not the catalyst that caused me to finally surrender my life to Christ, she was one of the many who made me look again. Mrs. Barnes will never know the great impact she’s had on my life. I suspect there are many more like her who don’t.
Are you one of those?
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