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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Processing Joy
By Brenda Kern


First, a burst.

It's challenging to understand what's happening here, difficult to fathom all the hard information and soft essences coming at me.

Or flowing through me and into me. My being has changed, and now my body is perfect. But not a body, exactly. How do I know, then, that it is perfect?

How do I know things I have never known before--have never even thought before? Yet now, I grasp all knowledge, to its very foundation.


SO much has happened, and SO fast. Paul wasn't kidding when he said "in the twinkling of an eye," was he? How can this be?

We, the living, all saw.

We, the believers, all left.

And now...

I feel the power of redemption.

I struggle to appreciate the divine in this moment, but why struggle? I am eternal, and I've got all the time in the world to relish His presence now.

No, the world has slipped away, dust.

I've got all the time there is.

But time has ceased.

I've got all the...

Again, it's hard to express.

I recall, with amusement, that I doubted God's timing, power, love, and involvement in my earthly life from time to time. How ignorant, how na´ve: what a goose I was! As I begin, now, to edge into the very fringe of who He is, I see and comprehend, more and more.

I get it now! All of those 'what if's' and 'might have been's': God's timing was perfect, after all. He wasn't testing me; He was protecting me. My lack of gratitude is stunning, especially when weighed against His precision.

I/we/I (I can't distinguish between singularity and plurality, but it doesn't matter, anyway) are moving: toward Him, toward a waiting throng.

I am overwhelmed. Over-, through-, between-, and otherwise thoroughly whelmed. If I were still in my physical body, I would have fainted by now, unable to grasp the sheer ecstasy of arriving in His presence.

Undying adoration. Eternal worship. Simple awe.

I shout, with a new kind of voice, and shout and shout. My praise mixes seamlessly with that of all the others, but I know the meaning is "Holy, Holy, Holy."

Then "Glory, Glory, Glory."

Then another twinkling passes by, or maybe it was ten million years, and my attention focuses more on Jesus--

My Jesus! I've seen Him! I know His face! I absorb His grace as fast as I can, the never-ending flow...

In my time on earth, I used to like the phrase 'in Him.'

We are now fully in Him: His love, His peace, His kingdom. I could never be more 'in Him' than I am now. Never.

Seconds or centuries passing.

"Into the heart of Jesus,
Deeper and deeper I go,
Seeking to know the reason
Why He should love me so..."

So much for never.


Glory, Glory, Glory; Holy, Holy, Holy.

How am I, even a perfected being, supposed to be able to absorb this heavenly elation, this celestial bliss, this much of the Divine?

I am filled, I overflow, I fall in worship.

I am loved.


Into the joy of Jesus
Deeper and deeper I go,
Rising, with soul enraptured,
Far from the world below.*

Now we see but a poor reflection, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. I Corinthians 13:12, NIV.

*Lyrics from "Deeper and Deeper" by Oswald J. Smith, 1914, now in the public domain

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This article has been read 1062 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 05/26/06
I couldn't imagine where to begin trying to describe what it would be like to be with Jesus. This is indescibable joy.

I liked the short choppy sentences and the use of song words.
Sherry Wendling05/26/06
If we yet 'see through a glass darkly,' I'd like to thank Him for using your pen to provide such a breathlessly awesome peek in advance! My inner being quivers with anticipation. You've pulled off a sign and a wonder, in my book!
Brenda Kern 05/27/06
Suzanne R05/28/06
Brilliant ... just brilliant.

I like the way you make the main character struggle to put things into earthly terms. I also like the way that you haven't tried to explain that joy in terms of time and place and individuality.

This is a winner in my book!
Rita Garcia05/30/06
Brenda Kern 05/30/06
Testing only
Brenda Kern 05/30/06
Testing only: 2
Brenda Kern 05/30/06
Testing only: 3
terri tiffany05/31/06
This was wonderful. What a struggle is is to capture the emotions we migt feel when that time comes...but I think you expressed it as well as one might. :) Great job!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/31/06
The expected wonder got through. Great job. I loved it. It makes me long to be in his presence.
Brenda Kern 05/31/06
Testing 4
Sherry Wendling06/01/06
Congratulations, Brenda! You passed the "testing (1,2,3,4)!" I'm so glad this was recognized as the gem it is!