“You’re the berries.” The words made me smile.
I met her in college and wished I could be her friend. She was always filled with joy and happiness. Her sense of humor was . . . well . . . great. Her laugh, infectious.
It wasn’t until we were both married and returned to Johnson Bible College that I finally met Lisa face to face. I was sitting on the front steps of Johnson Hall, watching the sun rise. She walked out the door on her way to work. I smiled. She smiled.
“Can I watch too?” she asked. I patted the step and she joined me. “You’re the berries.”
From that day forward, we were fast friends. We found laughter and joy in everything. Lisa taught me that when I allowed God to fill me fully, others couldn’t help but see the joy of the Lord within me.
When the time came for us to leave college with our husbands, my heart ached. The day we moved, Lisa gave me a picture she’d drawn. Berries. “Just remember, to me, you are the berries, and to God you are ALWAYS the berries.” A tear dripped from her cheek and smeared the picture.
Two years later, I received a call, Lisa was dead. It was . . . a great loss. I looked at the picture Lisa had drawn and remembered, “You’re always the berries to me.” The joy of the Lord still spoke through her drawing.
God is a loving God. The Israelites knew the faithfulness and joy found in seeking after Him. They lived in the shadow of God’s provision and love, receiving abundance in everything when they were obedient. Other nations saw the joy and power of a great God who provided and loved His people. They couldn’t help but see it.
Sometimes our biggest losses become our greatest blessings. Lisa’s loss was deep, but the memories of joy and laughter are one of the greatest gifts God could have given me. Thirty plus years later, I still miss her.
What made Lisa so infectious? Her immense love for God. She was joyful, even when things were difficult. You couldn’t help but see God in her. These days, I make it a point to tell those I love, those who bring me joy and laughter, that they are the berries. Hopefully they see that same love and joy of God in me.
Let your joy be abundant. Allow others to see Christ in you. You’ll find, when you do, that “you are always the berries” to Christ.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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