I know, wrong season for Christmas carols. It’s 95 degrees outside, but don’t we long for tidings of comfort and joy all year long? And don’t we wish for those Three Easy Steps to Finding Joy?

I hope most of you are THRILLED with life right now, but I know that one friend’s dad is going into Hospice. Another friend’s beloved dog just died. Still another lost out on a promising job last week. Not to mention the people in Mosul facing massacre today.

There are no Three Easy Steps.

Years ago, when I was in a ripped-apart stage, my friend Gary wrote this poem for me. It hangs above my desk to this day, always reminding me that tidings of comfort and joy DO come, but often start with the tiniest flicker through the haze.

To Debbie~

The wind upon the grass was harsh

and blew from ridge through vale and marsh.

It drifted up within its hands

the people’s fears through which life spans;

and grasped them with unyielding strength

to hold each life through breadth and length.

Until all hope within them failed

and even strong among them quailed.

Yet here and there a small spark blazed

as one, then two saw through the haze.

And there, though dim, the Way was lit

so each one now could break the bit,

which held them down and weighed their soul

with bitter pain and broken goal.

Yet as they watched; the Way grew bright.

And as they moved; each step grew light.

Until they found the peace once lost

and newness there, beyond all cost

of anyone; but from God’s grace,

which brings us freely to His place.

And those who make the stand with Him,

find strength to live, and heal within.   ~Gary Glatthar
Do you need comfort? Watch for the flicker of a spark, that ray of hope. Might require squinting at first. If you’re not in a needful place, lighten someone else’s load by squinting with them. That’s what Gary and other friends did for me.

“Sympathy is two hearts tugging at one load.” (Charles Henry Parkhurst, clergyman and social reformer)

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