{I don’t do Joy, very well}

Pu-leeeese, don’t tell me to lighten up – I take great pride in my seriousness.

It’s a part of my M.O.  It’s not that I don’t laugh at all, I do.  And I love to laugh till I cry, tears streaming uncontrollably at something my little sister said or the guy next to me at Bible study, who absolutely cannot let anything go without a wise ass remark.  Oh that’s me making the sarcastic reply under my breath.  It’s both of us giggling disobediently and with such pleasure, ducking a scowl from our leader. Do not make eye contact. Or at my husband Tom’s witticisms — he is frequently cracking me up.

But in all earnestness, the world is so damn sad.  Don’t you agree?  Or it is just me?  I am a bleeding heart “liberal” yawl.  How can you not wake up with the weight of the world on your shoulders, especially if you are the parent of teenagers?  Or have bills.  Or just turn on the news?

I find myself exclaiming about or at least ranting, and aching and hurting over many things.

  • Poverty and injustice.  Unnecessary wars.  Third world starvation and first world waste of the planet’s resources – does that not make anyone else want to scream?
  • And the fact that kids come to school without breakfast and live in neighborhoods without a grocery store? Am I the only one who thinks about these things?
  • I find myself aching for the thousands of undocumented kids here in America that were simply born in America to undocumented parents. For high school girls getting pregnant, forever changing the trajectory of their young lives. Young black boys who get shot for being nothing more than young and black and a boy.  That one really makes me mad.  Or the fact that women still don’t earn the same wage as men?!?

These things are heavy.  These things matter.

I expressly get upset about mean kids. Where do kids learn to hate?  Why can we not represent Jesus better?  And love any child no matter their sexual orientation? What would Jesus do, indeed?

I could go on, but this is about joy right? I do need to lighten up. I cannot even talk JOY for five minutes?  Sheesh. 

I found myself saying in a group recently I don’t “do joy.”   Awkward silence there and I can feel it here now.  (It’s not that I’m against it in theory.  I just don’t know how to get some.)

I know that it is good to laugh!.  I just don’t know how in and of myself , I have always been slightly melancholy — the only time I am an incoherently laughing kind of person is when others are having fun around me — they bring the fun out of me.  I am the sort that has to work for joy.

The next best thing is Tim Hawkins (I know how’d I get here?) who has “the magical blend between two comedic ideals: A genuinely funny comedy show that caters to the entire family. ” This guy makes me pee in my pants, he’s so funny.  It’s good clean fun and it feels so good to enjoy his shows.

Check him out won’t you?

It’s all I could think of,

now back to my regular programming.



This was written as a part of the May 2012 Synchroblog centered on the idea of what it might mean to lighten up a little–personally, spiritually, professionally, or in any area of our lives.   You can write about why that’s easy or hard for you, share something funny or humorous, or any other angle that feels easy and right (remember, part of this is about lightening up!)

These are the wonderful people that participated.  (I don’t know them personally.)

5 thoughts on “{I don’t do Joy, very well}

  1. First, great video clip. Fun share :)

    Second, your post made me wonder if we truly understand biblical joy. I think we equate joy with light-heartedness, which is not necessarily the case. It is the apostle Paul who wrote the most about joy. Yet, when I read the rest of his letters, I don’t perceive him as a guy who walked jovially down the street with a smile on his face. He was serious, very serious, about many things. Yet, there was a deeper sense of peace that he carried. I wonder sometimes if joy looks more like peace than happiness?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I’m glad that you are unapologetic about who you are. Reminds me of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”


    1. The path to joy, the kind of joy that Paul lived I have not found, yet. But I pray for it to become clearer, easier to glimpse in the distance…


  2. Excellent grist for the mill. It brought to mind a program at church that I attended no too long ago about the “successes in social justice endeavors.” One presenter (a freelance photographer who had worked with Save the Children and similar organizations) shared an enlightening fact. Happy images don’t raise money. One of his charities made the decision to “celebrate their successes” and donations dropped off significantly. They quickly reversed their strategy to again primarily use images of suffering and sadness in their literature.

    He then showed us a series of joyful photos he had taken in many places where one would think there would be no joy. One image I remember had been cropped to show a crippled man in apparently a very dire circumstance. That was the image the charity used. He then showed the full image. Behind the man were children laughing, playing a game and a group of women sitting in a circle preparing food laughing. In fact, he had a series of photos of almost the same moment and in the next frame, the disabled man was in fact smiling and his circumstances seemed suddenly less dire.

    His point?…well he didn’t “wrap it up in a bow,” but I decided for me it will mean that the world isn’t sad or joyful it just is. And we take another step and see what the next frame will bring. Deb Lawrence


Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s