Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30
This phrase echoed in my mind long after worship was over. With it, memories of long sleepless nights worrying, praying, and longing for the ability to put my mind at ease and rest. Always, always, dawn arrived, bringing with it perhaps a fresh perspective, maybe less worry, but always joy.
Joy, perched just so, waiting for me to strip the fear and stress away and open my heart to receive it. Joy, looking very much like a smiling child awaiting a morning snuggle or a husband's kind care when my body resists movement or the beat of my own heart reminding me that life goes on, and where there's life, there's joy to be found. Joy, comforting me with the knowledge that God is holding me close, encouraging me as I travel through the unknown.
Then it happened. Getting into the car to run a quick errand, I heard sirens and a reporter's voice on the radio. My gut reaction was, "It's happening again." This is exactly what happened the morning of 9/11 when I turned the key in the ignition and heard reports of smoke pouring out of the World Trade Center towers. The first words this time were something to the effect of "two explosions at the Boston Marathon." I braced myself for terror. Listening to the report, my immediate reaction was prayer, and I continued praying as I moved through the remainder of the day.
The morning after a tragedy, we wake up and have a choice to make. We can concentrate on the horror, or we can focus on the helpers. We can promote negativity and despair or search out hope and new beginnings. We can open our hearts to joy and counteract the violence and sadness with all good things or we can give in to the negativity and in the process, promote it. We can choose love over hate, compassion over condemnation, and joy in addition to weeping.
No matter what life hits us with, God is there, comforting us in our sorrows and turning our wailing into dancing.
Weeping stays the night, but joy comes in the morning.