"Today, and often times, joy is ... lilacs in the rain. And I don’t think Jesus minds that.
As long as I grab the joy and hold it for a while, sinking my face into the sweet fragrance of its blossoms, letting the juice of it run out the corners of my mouth, laughing all the while, the next time He sends some my way." ~Amy Sorrells
Once upon a time there was a girl in a calico dress, faded by years of washing, and drying in the sunshine. She wasn't the first to wear it. It had been handed down, and down again, and down again, until at last it had reached her. She loved it. The softness of the fabric, the tiny bit of lace at the sleeves and collar, the smocking around her chest. She felt beautiful in it. Her eyes didn't see the looks of the other little girls who wore dresses from stores that had vibrant colors and yards of lace. Her ears didn't hear their scornful snickers as she passed them on her way home from school. Or, at least, not until one especially wealthy little girl jumped in front of her and mocked her openly.
Tears streamed down her cheeks as she ran home to an empty house. Mama was at school. Did the girls at Mama's school think horrible things about her too? Why would anyone say such things? Why would someone wish to cause her pain?
Time passed and the girl grew to be a beauty, inside more than out. Pain continued to be her companion, but it was a companion of strength not sorrow or saplessness. Mama had told her, that day long ago, that great joy lurks on the underbelly of ache & so she had gone about, forever turning it over, finding the delight beneath.
Today the calico is exceedingly faded. Faded but loved all the more by her own little girls who will wash it and hang it to dry in the sunshine for their own small ones.