KOH2RVA Day 185

KarenGAt last night’s deacons’ meeting we talked about joy and agreed that it was not the same thing as happiness. Happiness seems to be dependent on circumstances whereas joy does not.

At one point I reminded the deacons at my table of that place in Luke 10 where Jesus sends his disciples out to do what he, himself, has been doing: curing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, casting out demons, and proclaiming the good news of the coming Kingdom. Luke says the disciples returned “with joy,” and I said, “That’s why I keep insisting that the members of Richmond’s First Baptist Church get off the bus and onto the mission field: because I believe there is joy in it.”

That certainly seems to be true in Karen Grizzard’s case—Karen, who had such a hard time finding her way of bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, she made up her mind to volunteer at a local elementary school. Since then she’s been going to Glen Lea Elementary at least once a month and lately she’s been reading to second graders.

I’ve shared some of her letters before but this one seems to capture the essence of the joy we were talking about at our deacons’ meeting last night. Listen:

Hi, Jim. I hope you won’t grow tired of my KOH2RVA updates. I am so glad I got off the bus. I took a break today from a hectic workweek to read to Ms. Caison’s second graders at Glen Lea. They were so attentive, displayed their best manners and clapped after each story! The cute girl in pigtails to my left grabbed me by the waist and asked me to come back again to read. You know my answer. Regards, Karen.

Did you hear what she said? She took a break from a hectic workweek to read to Ms. Caison’s second graders. In other words, she took a break from a hectic workweek to see if she could find some joy, and she found it in giving her time and talents to a group of second graders. Notice that she didn’t say, “This was just one more thing I had to add to a busy week.” She didn’t say, “Why do you keep nagging us about bringing the KOH2RVA?” Instead she said, “I am so glad I got off the bus.”

There is joy in this work, real joy, but you may never find out for yourself if you don’t take that first step. Still looking for ways to do that? Visit the KOH2RVA section of our church website and see what you can find. Or just do what Karen did:

Make up your mind.

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