Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness. - Psalm 100:1-2a
What’s your favorite joyful noise? I can tell you what mine is (and this is pretty much a unanimous opinion in the Garvey Home): when a baby laughs. We can sit and watch videos of babies giggling all day long, and no matter what kind of day we’re having it always changes our mood. Always.
I dare you to be having a bad day and not crack a smile if you go on YouTube and watch just one video of a Little One giggling uncontrollably.
Whatever your joyful noise of choice, the psalmist knew something very true and very important when they wrote the 100th psalm: making a joyful noise is crucial to being human. Why? Because too much of life is so hard and painful. We get assaulted by bad news and difficult information all day long, day after day. Whether on the news or especially on social media (magnify that a ga-billion fold if you read people’s comments), there is an over-abundance of information out there that would be enough to snuff out any light of optimism or hope if we allowed it to. And it's been that way forever. Just read our Bible! Life was pretty rotten for a lot of the people in those 66 chapters, too.
So, sometimes we need to be reminded that there is something else, something more, something beyond all of that. In the midst of the cacophony of life’s harshness, there are the giggles of babies. When each day is accompanied by more COVID numbers, more social unrest, more anxiety over leadership and elections, kids at home for school getting antsy (to put it diplomatically), our inability to see family and friends and celebrate holidays together, whatever it may be, there is also a joy that exists alongside and underneath all of that if we’re open and willing to experience it.
I know for me, while being home like this for so long has at times been difficult, I am far more in tune with the joy of this extra time I’ve been given with my family I’d not have ordinarily had. I get to wake up my boys, help them with their homework, have all three meals with my family, take a walk with Kath, and see the world at a slower pace. There is indeed joy amidst the challenges and often difficult realities of life.
Thank you, God.
God Of Joy, thank you for the laughter of babies and all the noises of Joy in our midst.