But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
~ Galatians 5:22-23
I'm not sure that I realized "exactly," what was happening the day that I sat down with one of my hospice patients and she began asking me about "ways to talk," to her grandchildren about dying and death. I'm still not exactly sure what I was thinking a year later, with an envelop full of notes and a few pages with pictures, when I sat down with my friend, Ciara, who listened and said, "Sure," when I asked if she would be willing to take everything I gave her and to illustrate a few pages to give me an idea of what this "might look like," if I were to pursue this project as a book.
Two years later, after that first visit with my patient, Ciara and I are about to find that this "project of the heart," is about to be released as the first Children's book for a publishing company that is over 100 years old and one that has never published a book for children in their long history.
As I write my blog today, I realize that it has been over a month since I have taken the time to sit down and "actually," write about what has been happening. Behind the scenes there have been meetings with the Editor, a marketing team, and numerous texts between Ciara and myself.
I never knew that there was a scientifically created font that allows people with dyslexia to be able to read "more at ease," but I do now, as Ciara in her educational journey at SCAD in Savannah has learned, and is implementing it in our book.
As the marketing team met with us, we discovered that there is now a group of people who have fallen in love with our book, and how this will be such a wonderful "conversation starter," for grandparents everywhere for years to come.
For a moment, I stop writing and I think about the afternoon that I walked into Tony Carrol's office, a therapist who agreed to see a me, even though I didn't have insurance, but was suffering from a bought of depression that seemed to have paralyzed my life. I am overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude, and wish that he were alive to see the lasting results. I remember Tony asking me to take a photo of something that brought me, "joy," into his office so that we could talk about what it was about the picture that seemed to speak to me.
I remember laughing as I took that first picture in. It was a photo of a bumper sticker I had seen on a car that said, "Save the Ta Ta's!" It was a bumper sticker about breast cancer awareness. While it was childish in nature, it was a photo that began to free me from my depression and started a journey that now has brought me to this place, as I moved from just taking a photo, to also writing about what it was that made me "feel" joy.
I think for any of us, finding our path in the world today, takes more than just looking for joy. Projects of our heart takes courage, and whether we realize it or not, someone to also believe in what we are doing.
I knew that Ciara was a gifted artist, but to "see" how she has brought this project to life is a "new joy," that I'm grateful to be experiencing.
I am reminded that God always seems to have something more for us. More joy. More opportunities. More, more, more...
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2021
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.