Stranger Joy | Spiritual Direction - The Work, J.R. Mahon
They were strangers. Mia came out of a van, well… they all came out of a van. She was beautiful with hair to the sky. Angel beamed, his smile infectious. Zian like a shot, ran into the parking lot, I chased after. It was mid afternoon, October, chilly, 12 years ago. The world stopped, really hasn't started back up. “You saved their lives.” most people tell us. We don’t see it that way. We saved one another. It has been a group rescue of intentionality, a joyful release of self, driven by deliberate attention to love. The five of us have no claim on the “how” to love only the “willingness” to love. That is our story, we, the five of us were, are willing to love strangers and it has produced the greatest joy we have ever known.
How can I help you into the idea that sacrifice without plan or loving without cause is the pathway to joy… I can't. None of my words today will help you into an experience the soul longs for. You must take your own journey. With that, yes! Yes! There is incredible joy in adopting strangers. More than we counted on to be honest. This joy isn't “drive through joy.” This joy is planted and tended, it grows slowly, it simmers for seasons, it allows you to watch it boil, it holds a mirror to time and asks you to be patient, it looks like a lesson, it swells with pride, it scares the hell out of you, it holds tight, it warms you, it leaves you speechless, it rips your guts out and asks you to keep going, it loves you, it leaves you wanting more and more and more and more. It is the peaceful essence of God, a love so great you die for one another so they may live… over and over and over again.
The joy I am describing, comes only when you empty out of the idea your joy is of paramount concern to the lives of others. Spiritually ironic, yes! A deep centered truth, absolutely and one that comes with a bit of pain and stretching. No need to fear… just be willing to love.
This morning Mia and I had breakfast. We talked about her new job, going to college, putting gas in the car and where I keep the insurance cards in the car. My daughter! It leaves me with tears in my eyes. Joy
Are you interested in working with J.R.? Here’s how to get started.
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