Camille Crocetti

I Have Not Lost My Joy

Camille Crocetti
I Have Not Lost My Joy

Lately my heart has been heavy. Sickness happens. Loss happens. Hurt happens. In the words of Sarah Kay, there is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry

Every January, the year seems to be spilling with potential. Beaming hearts yearn for goals to become accomplished and the luminescence of 12 new months shines brightly alongside the winter sun. I, myself, make long-term goals, dream about my future - no year has it been more apparent what I want in life than this one - and make list after list of to-do's and what-if's. 
Three weeks ago my eyes sparked at the thought of the coming twelve months, yet here I sit, one week away from a twelfth of this year having past, having lost sight of that spark behind wintertide clouds.

Some seasons go like this. A veil descends and I inhabit my own little world, alone, for a while. Sometimes spending time with my Maker, and others just discovering that I am, in fact, alone. An island, living in this corner of a big city, rarely creeping outside my comfortable spaces or seeking out unfamiliar faces. These seasons come, but just as God's love is assured, they always pass. As I tend to tell the babe, "I know it's hard, but it's not forever."

It is in these times (for they seem to come quite often) that I feel I must clarify the truth of my heart: I am sad but I have not lost my joy

The joy of the Lord lives abundantly in my heart, and that is what drives me through my days. It is what keeps me awake during days when all I want is to close my eyes and rest; it keeps anxiety at bay every time I glance at my bank account and calculate how much I will have by the time my rent check is deposited; it drives me to take care of my body when those chocolate chip cookies look really really good; it pushes me to forgive when forgiveness is neither earned nor asked for; it reminds me to ask that man or woman on the street corner what I can buy them from the grocery as I walk inside (without a care for the monetary value); it is the only thing that keeps my heart strong when hard things happen to people I love.

Oh, victory, You have won.
Victorious, You have come. 
What was stolen, You brought back to us.
Our champion, You fight for us.
You made a way where there was none.
Our champion, You're strong in us.
The debt we owed, You paid in blood.

There are days that I look into the eyes of the little human I care so much for and think about all the pain she will feel. It's inevitable. Her heart will be broken; her body will feel discomfort; there will be days when her soul cries out. There is nothing I, nor her parents, nor her grandparents can do to protect her from the pains of life, but I hope, if nothing else, to teach her this: 
The world will pain you, but you are worthy of love and belonging. We were not made to be alone. 

I strive to give this lesson to the one I care most for, yet I struggle with believing it myself. May we all know how loved and worthy of belonging we are. May we all find the strength to give that to one another. 

Come into this. Come closer.
You are quite the beauty. If no one has ever told you that before know that now. You are quite the beauty. There is joy in how your mouth dances with your teeth. Your smile is a sign of how sacred your life truly is. Come into this. True of heart, come into this. You are true of heart.
Come closer. Come closer. Know that whatever God prays to, He asked it to help Him make something of worth. He woke from His dreams, scraped the soil from the spaces inside Himself, made you and was happy. You make the Lord happy.
Come into this.
Come closer.

Know that something softer than us, but just as holy, planted the pieces of Himself into our feet that we might one day find our way back to Him. Know that you are almost home.
Come closer. Come into this. There are birds beating their wings beneath your breastplate, gentle sparrows aching to sing, come aching hearts, come soldiers of joy, doormen of truth, come true of heart, come into this.
My heart was too big for my body so I let it go, and most days this world has thinned me, to where I am just another cloud forgetting another flock of swans, but believe me when I tell you my soul has squeezed into such narrow spaces. Place your hand beneath your head when you sleep tonight and perhaps you will find it there. Making beauty as we sleep, as we dream, as we turn over, when I turn over in the ground may the ghosts that I have asked answers of do the turning, kneading me into crumbs of light and into this thing love thing called life. Come into it.

Come you wooden museums,
you gentle tigers,
negro faces in two broken scenes,
come rusting giants.
I see teacups in your smiles upside down glowing. Your hands are like my heart, some days all they do is tremble. I am like you. I am like you. I too at times am filled with much fear. But like a hallway must find the strength to walk through it. Walk through this with me. Through this church, this church of bone, birthed of blood and muscle. This church of ours. There is a doorknob glowing like chance before you. Clutch it. Turn and pull. Step through. Chin up. Back straight. Eyes open. Hearts loud.

Walk through this with me.
Walk through this with me.

Anis Mojgani, Come Closer