Her arrival was a bit unexpected. We found her in a sad situation, the runt of a rather poorly kept litter of pups in a wooden box kept in a dark and cold barn. We had gone just to take a look, but left with this wee bundle of fur in our arms. Her little ears stood straight up on a tiny head under which were two serious eyes that studied our every move. Once placed on the floor this bundle of fur would never wander far, always staying close and encouraging pats of assurance. I should have been exhausted from the several “bathroom” breaks each night and the early morning play sessions, instead by day 3 I knew exactly what to name her, Abigail.
Abigail means “cause of joy” in Hebrew. In the Bible, Abigail, King David’s second wife, is described as a beautiful and intelligent woman. My canine sidekick has lived fully into her name.
Each morning as we sip our coffees and read over the difficult headlines our “Cause of Joy” lies between us having her ears massaged or her belly rubbed, as if reminding us not to despair. Each evening she brings her balls and toys dropping them at our feet as we watch the 6:00 news not allowing us time to wallow in the sadness of the world. By bedtime this “Cause of Joy” has had us out for an evening walk among the tall trees and along the babbling brook. She is our angel and I cannot imagine life without her.
Life isn’t easy these days. It never has been. There will always be difficult people, painful prognosis, frightening headlines and causes of grief. We must counter this with causes of joy.
I know one woman whose cause of joy is her house plants. Two hours each Saturday morning is dedicated to their care. Her love of plants has resulted in a degree in botany of which is the field she now works. She is blessed to have discovered a source of joy which fills her days.
Another woman tells me her joy comes from reading. She takes great delight in finding a new novel and before starting it she arranges herself in her favorite chair, with a cup of tea and a plate of cookies. Then the ceremony of meeting new characters and going on an adventure begins.
I have met several grandparents that have discovered great joy when time is spent with their grandchildren. Some even commit to babysit regularly so to fill up on that joy!
What is your cause of joy? What brings a spring to your step and a song to your heart? Fill up on this joy as often as possible; it is the antidote to all the sadness of life!
Rev. Heather McCarrel