Joy is the priest of the emotions. The mediator, the mitigator, the inciter of chocolate riots. What is joy? Joy is looking to the laughably cloud-disheveled heavens with a prayer of thanksgiving on your lips, thanking the sovereign God that He saw fit to place you here, to bring your footsteps to the appropriate place so that you might see the pretty girl walking away and the man on the bike watching her and not the curb. Joy is the look you give him when he sees that you are the only witness, and you see that he has sprained his wrist.
Everywhere I look, I see a world of images that could end up abused on Christian posters and cards, tagged with verses in a juxtaposition that makes God seem merely quaint. But God does revel in a whitened world cross-lit by a pink sunset. If He didn't, I assume He would stop doing it. But what the Christian card won't show you is the other side of rime frost, the cost of white-wrapped bushes, and that's what the freezing fog can do to your sidewalk. You can see the spiked ice ornaments left on each pine needle, but the sheet of ice left beneath your feet is invisible.
If I am a consistent Christian, a connoisseur of the divine personality, then I should be able to enjoy the pink light on the frosted trees when I am warm and cocoa-filled beside my own cheaply lit indoor version, or while I lie on the frigid ground with a broken hip, unable to reach my cell phone. Unless I've slid all the way beneath my car, and can't see anything.
On Remodeling a Roof:
Rain on an old roof slick with grit and malicious thoughts. Boom-flown death sentences. It's my roof. I would not risk my life for it, but that is what I am doing. It is a game now. I cannot go inside and make life stop, or lie on my back and watch my ceiling slowly collapse beneath bursting tarps. It is no longer so much a game of points. Now we are playing dodge-ball, or buck-buck. We're riding bulls. It is about surviving. It is about not collapsing. It is about laughing. When I stop laughing, then I have stopped standing back up. I would rather ride one of the forty foot girders off the roof than fold now. God wants me on the angry bull. It pleases Him, and I can find no greater pleasure than that. No joy greater than sliding down a roof in the rain, trying to catch a truss. I will not become that kid on the playground who can't win and so squeals, "Stop it," and something about his mother. It is better to be beaten. I hate that kid—the kid who never could never appreciate a nosebleed—and my mother's the one who turned on the sink.