Friday, May 8, 2009

What Joy Looks like

Yesterday, during the after-school program God gave me a moment to seize for joy's sake. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a moment.

I was calling a bingo game for the K-3rd graders, probably 15 of them or so. The mood during the bingo game was already a joyful one. When I call bingo games with the little ones I call the numbers in various booming, jovial voices that the kid's then repeat in unison, to the best of their ability in the same manner. It is a system that has evolved over the course of our bingo playing year. It is great. Anyways, the mood was light, fun and everyone was behaving really well - a blessing to this moment. During our final black-out game, Mary, a kindergarten, accidentally erased her card after a false black-out call. She was distraught. I halted the game and had my bingo helper take the called numbers plate over to Mary to get her up to speed again. At that moment, I noticed Tyler, a 1st grader, moving across the room, yet again (he has ADHD in a pretty bad way). Instead of demanding him to sit, yet again, I declared loudly for all to hear, "well, it looks like Tyler is going to entertain us while we are waiting with some of his super sweet dance moves." I immediately starting singing a popular dance tune and Tyler, on cue, began dancing about the room. Suddenly, almost instantaneously, I had a chorus, the rest of the kids, backing me. Feeling the energy and the joy that had instantly blown-up in the room, I yelled out, "dance party!". All of the kids rose to their feet and beginning following Tyler, dancing, flailing and moving wildly. Even the shyest kids, who typically avoid such overt displays of affection and joy, jumped in. I had a baby on my lap, at the moment, a 6 month old - the grandson of one of the LEAP workers - and began to move his arms to our singing. The moment was glorious, pure and true, joyful and unrestrained. Smiles, movement and spontaneity came together to create something that could not have been planned. After a few minutes, Mary's card was up to speed and we resumed our joyful bingo game, this time in a whole new way - all slightly different people from the spontaneous "dance party" experience.

That was my moment yesterday. I think the Lord that I had the energy and intuition to seize it. It was a completely life-affirming experience. Joy. Sweet, sweet joy. Enjoy the day.


Deane Christianson said...

Fabulous! Wish I could have been there to "dance" too! Brian, you are a gift to these children and to who's lives you touch! Thanks for sharing your joy!

Becky said...

you are so great....i read that aloud to my roommates and we all just loved it...what a great moment to seize...question..what song was it?