Almost Two in the Morning, or When I Frown, I’m Happy

I just have a few random things to share. One, I want to confess that I secretly love the words “car keys,” and say them often to myself, with a Russian — rather than a Spanish — roll to the r. “Carrkeys. Carrkeys.” Try it, it’s fun.

Also, I just flew OVER a lightning storm. It was probably a thunderstorm as well, but we couldn’t hear it on the plane. Just silent flashes of light below that illuminated mountains of white clouds. Darkness out the tiny window, then LIGHT, suddenly a whole landscape outside, then a darkness.

I told my twelve year old self about it. She is very easily impressed. “Jessica, you live in Boston.” She is in awe. “You take the subway almost every day.” A tremor of suppressed joy. “Your job is to hang out with people from all over the world and talk to them about Jesus.” She can hardly believe her luck. And this one always knocks her off her feet: “You get to fly on an airplane ALL THE TIME.” She frowns, and her gaze becomes unfocused. Don’t worry, this is just her way of experiencing deep joy. To let the laugh out is to diminish it, to allow it to mingle with the everyday air and be diluted. But to hold it in keeps it safe and treasured: A warm glow in your belly that belongs only to you. Yes, I was an odd child. But one that knows the honor of flying above a lighting storm, even at 34, and feeling the warm glow of inward joy.

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