Victor has to be the most joyful young man I’ve ever met. Before we even got out of the car, he ran out of the house with a huge smile and hugged us tightly. I was impressed with this young man and his beautiful countenance. We followed him inside and met his mom, Jane. Despite her smile, you could tell she didn’t feel well. She even apologized for not feeling well and then said, “But you are welcome.” In the midst of her physical pain, she told us her story. Widowed and left with five kids, she was living with HIV.
I was struck with how vulnerable and real she was in the moment and still so full of joy. I can’t say that I would want to have anyone over when I was sick and tell them my story. She told us that it was in the pit of HIV that she found HOPE. Can you imagine? At one point, it must have been too much, the visiting combined with not feeling well. She kindly excused herself, and we took the opportunity to play a little ball with Victor. When Jane returned with a perspired face, we prayed for her and for Victor. We prayed for healing for both of them and for God’s presence to surround them and provide every need.
I was so struck by the joy I saw in this home and the joy Jane extended despite her physical pain and illness. She could have said, “Not today,” but she didn’t. She said, “You are welcome.” She was living in the moment and finding the joy in it. I’ve recently been reading through and trying to put into practice Donald Miller’s Storyline Productivity Schedule. In the beginning of the day, he challenges you to answer, “If you could live the day over, how would you live the day differently?” For me, answering this question in the beginning of the day helps me to think about how I would live the day. It challenges me to live each day as my do over day. Meeting Jane inspired me to find the joy in the every day and to live in the moment. I tend to always be thinking ahead to the next thing which means I often miss what’s right in front of me.
Jane is my joy inspiration and my challenge to live every day as my do over day.