Yesterday, I wrote about the prison cycle.  Today, I’m on my way “behind the fence.” 

Earlier today, a friend remarked on her perception of my “low energy”.  As I thought about it, I realized that I am quite frequently subdued on the Thursday I leave.  At first, it seemed as if it were counterintuitive.  I’m leaving to do God’s work, I should be excited beyond all measure! 

I am not excited.  I AM filled with joy.  And that’s what I want to bring to these girls (this weekend).  Excitement ebbs and flows…they don’t need anything else moving in and out of their lives.  But joy…true joy is soul-deep.  It doesn’t bend when buffeted by even gale-force winds.  It comes from deep within and doesn’t go away when the world is a tough place to be.  THAT is the message I want them to have.

I guess that translates into a posture of considered reverence immediately preceding my departure.  I want to be able to give them the best of myself.  For me, EXCITEMENT makes it easier to forward my own agenda.  It can get in the way of my ability to step out of the way and let God be the “curegiver”.

I am walking into a serious place to deliver a serious message.  A message of hope and joy.  We will, at various times in the next three days, use excitement to reinforce that message but it is important that we help others – these youth – understand that the joy of God remains when the excitement has long since escaped.

That is my prayer and my fervent hope….to demonstrate an abiding joy to some very hurting souls.  With God’s help, I’ll do just that.