“Happy days.” What does that conjure up in your mind? The Fonze? Carefree times, now gone? A yearning for joy to replace mental illness (MI)?
Does your mind wander back to happier days before MI hit? Or do your senses sabotage your emotions?
One day, I visited our son’s former Christian elementary school. To attend the funeral of a loved one. I cried more AFTER the service ended. It’s because I chose to exit the building through the classroom hallways.
The familiar smell of the building instantly transported me back 25 yrs. Back when Chris was in elementary school. Back when life seemed less complicated. Back when Chris’s eyes sparkled with joy.
Funny how one whiff of a building can flood you with feelings you had forgotten. Like an electric shock, the aroma jolted my thoughts to days when Chris seemed happy-go-lucky. Memories rushed through my mind. Suddenly, I “saw” Chris bouncing into my classroom at the end of the day to share what he’d learned. I “heard” his young voice telling me what he did at recess.
I “heard” him share happy news. “Mom, we’re going to go on a field trip to the science museum. I’ll get to see what a real planetarium looks like. I can’t wait!” Echoes from the past so real they tempted me to look for an apparition.
I had shoved those scenes deep into my memory. Locked them into a trunk stored in the attic of my mind.
Don’t unpack those memories, Vicki. Don’t even consider mentally caressing them for a second. Those times are gone. Love Chris for how he is now. Be grateful for glimmers of Chris’s personality and joy.
I quickly exited the building. Barely making it to my vehicle before violent sobs overtook me. I sat in the car with streams of tears pouring down my cheeks. As painful as it was, I needed that moment of private grief. I needed those precious reminders of the son I know and love. God ministered to me in that quiet sanctuary. He gently reminded me that Chris is still there. Locked behind an illness that masks his joy and peace.
Other aromas spark emotion. Reminders of happy days include: ballpark franks, burning leaves, boardwalk fudge, movie popcorn, Thanksgiving turkey, new school supplies, and Grandma’s perfume.
We wonder if we’re making any difference at all in the lives of those around us. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were the fragrance that stirs someone’s heart for Jesus? 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 tell us, “In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.” (MSG)
Imagine that…through us, God is spreading the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
Reflect on this sentence:
“God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade.”
Easter lilies remind us of another happy day…of when Jesus washed our sins away. Enjoy “Oh Happy Day.”