During this night of deepest darkness she heard a voice saying: “Let there be JOY!”
“Joy?” she said to the emptiness around her, “Joy now? Joy after all of this—this loss—this sadness? This is NOT a time for JOY!”
The voice calmly said, “JOY for ALL time and ALL places.
JOY for the meek and the mild.
JOY for the downtrodden and the derelict.
JOY for the desperate and the despairing.
Let there be JOY!”
“But how?” she cried. “How can I feel JOY after all of this death and destruction?”
The voice was silent for a moment, and just when she began to question herself that she had ever heard the voice at all, it spoke again:
“JOY is the light in any darkened room. It is the rising of fallen spirits. It is the underlying laughter in each breath of life.
JOY is the music of your soul’s purest essence.
JOY is the child’s uncompromised innocence and the expectation of goodness with every new discovery.
JOY is the heart so clear and light that it bursts with happiness at the sun rising.
JOY is always there awaiting you. Open the door and let me in.”
Again she scanned the too familiar bedroom so full of memories and emotions, and again saw no one speaking. “Who are you?” she finally whispered.
“JOY!” the voice sang with exuberance. “I am JOY! I exist! I am here with you always. Let me in.”
By now she was certain that she’d already had too many drinks trying to kill the deepest pain and all else was hallucination, however, the tiny spark of curiosity within her disheveled mind sent her to the tarnished door handle; and she opened the bedroom door.
The darkened hallway looked the same as usual, and the long night’s silence was broken only by the ticking of her old analog clock beside the bed. After looking up and down the empty hallway, she closed the bedroom door again and turned to the window beside the bed.
She walked over to the window and parted the curtains to stare out into the night. Beyond the barren trees of winter a distant horizon was appearing and the earliest rays of dawn were peeking through the darkness before her. She had successfully made it through the sleepless night once again. No matter how dark the moment or how difficult sleeping became, the new day was dawning before her now and she was watching it appear. As the growing light overpowered the receding night, she stood there for some time—longer than she could fathom, watching it all unfold before she heard the voice again saying:
“I am JOY! I am the beautiful sunrise after an endless night. I am the light ever-building across this land. I am here—right here—right now—waiting for you. Just open your heart and let me in.”
A tear began to slide down her cheek, and she let it run nearly to her chin before wiping it off with her sleeve.
“New day,” the voice said. “New sun on the rise.”
She nodded, “New day,” she repeated. “New sun, but….”
“I am JOY!” the voice crooned encouragingly. “I am JOY! Say it.”
Tears were streaming effortlessly now—sobs erupted from her chest, and as her knees began to buckle she sat back heavily onto the bed.
“Empty your heart of sadness to clear the space for me. Let the sun shine now into the darkness of your sorrow to light the way for your new day. …I am JOY!” it repeated with emphasis.
“I am JOY,” she mumbled unconvincingly. Then after a few more tissues and a deeper breath she said it again, “I am JOY.”
The night was fast giving way to the strength of the rising sun, and soon a golden ball of brightness appeared above the distant hills—a light so bright that eyes could not contain it, but her heart could feel it filling with a soothing warmth and a unusual sense of peace. She stood, parting the curtains again to view the new day birthing before her now.
“I am JOY,” she repeated to the window pane with greater hope than before. As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky she repeated it even louder, “I am JOY!”
“I AM JOY!” she suddenly yelled and scared herself at the intensity of the lifeforce behind the statement. Where had that come from?
Again, she looked about the room void of a presence beyond her own and asked, “But what am I to do without him?”
A lilting laughter sang between her ears, and the voice said, “Just let there BE Joy!”