I just had the most unsettling exchange with a woman at the gym. She was rude. She was confrontational (even about topics on which we agreed!) She started my day on such a negative note.
She was a “joy stealer”, as my mom likes to call them. Joy stealers are those people, interactions, situations that just sap the joy out of one’s life. They take it and hoard it. They are the bushels that hide the light in the “This Little Light of Mine” song. They are Joy Stealers and I struggle with them.
My immediate reaction was to walk away from the conversation. I could see it going nowhere and this lady was bringing me down fast. We parted ways without a goodbye. My second reaction was to tell someone else about it. To externally process the conversation is my way of dealing with things, but there was no one around with whom to process. So where to go next? After this I wanted to chase her down and tell her what a downer she was, how she had stolen my joy and I was angry about it! She was nowhere to be seen.As I was walking with my daughter to the car, I realized what I really needed to do in this moment. I needed to pray.
I needed to lift up this woman, this joy stealer, because I recognize she needs love. She needs more joy in her life. She needs Christ.
And so do I. Every day. He is the Source of my Joy and without Him, I am nothing. Without Him, I surely can steal joy from others as well. Above all, I am called to love this woman, to minister to her, and show my Joy so that she might partake of that goodness. What a challenge when all I really feel like doing is yelling at her!
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14