As old as the NHS

How has it turned out that I am this age, IN this age, with no work to speak of, no money to speak of, living alone, quite often lonely, and yet I am on occasion, on many an occasion, in fact just about all the bloomin’ time, overtaken and overwhelmed with deep welling-up joy?

How has that happened?

Oh, look at what I’ve just written, ‘Overtaken, overwhelmed and welling-up’.

That’s above me, around me, and in me.

I’ve rattled around this world for many a year now, my little froodlepips. I have. I’m as old as the NHS, bar a few months. And while the NHS has been saving lives, and being proper noble, I’ve just ricocheted from one disaster to another, staggering up again, giving the world that familiar two fingered salute, and reeling on my way. You’d think I’d have learnt a few lessons about self preservation on the way, wouldn’t you?  Think again.

Instead of learning caution I’ve just careened on, stubbornly, to the next stumble, collision, near death experience, and bad decision. I’ve survived a crash landing (the plane wing was on fire), a near shipwreck when we lost our propeller, a motor bike de-saddling in snow, being impaled on a broken coke bottle in the sea, having my nose broken (three times), both shoulders broken, I won’t even talk about my horrible Uncle and his cronies (damn, I’ve mentioned him), my left thumb masticated by a heavy locking door and the resultant septicaemia, cancer and a violent first husband. The people I’ve lost along the way read like a crematorium visitor’s book – mum, brother, brother, brother, husband, dad, brother. On the other side of the ledger, the gifts-received side, I can write down ‘a fabulous second husband, a lovely daughter, three beautiful and ridiculous granddaughters, wonderful friends, and a satisfying career.’

But however much I loved (and I did) my husband George, and however much I love my daughter (and I do) and the grand children etc etc etc… they don’t account for the bubbling, fabulous, exciting joy that’s above, around and in me. Only God. Only God.

So, you know, when you tune into this blog and I’m off on a rant, or apparently a miserable old ratbag – I’d like you please to remember that in me and above me and all around me , is joy. And you all know me by now. I am a disgruntled and difficult woman at heart, so you must surely realise that this joy doesn’t come from me. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.

This blog is a short one;  when you’re a writer right through to the marrow in your bones, you have to write out the truths of your life. It’s a compulsion. A blessed compulsion. My truth is simple. I’m drowning happily in joy and thankfulness. It’s a joy I don’t deserve, haven’t earned, and can’t conjure up, but God has given it to me anyway. Shakespeare called it ‘The quality of mercy’.

The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Will Shakespeare.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  Psalm 16:11

Joy is the gift of God. Even when the going is tough and you feel defeated, that deep inner joy is unshakeable. You can’t conjure it up. It’s a gift. But you can ask for that gift, and everyone who asks, receives.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20

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