Since my near death experience I have learned that Joy comes in the little things. And small acts of love and compassion can bring great joy. I have also learned that it is important to share joy and happiness with others. These gifts are not meant to be held onto selfishly. But, in order to share them with others, you must find them within yourself first. You cannot share something that you, yourself do not feel. I have learned that for me, joy comes in the little things. Joy comes in the quiet moments… seeing the first rays of the dawn, hearing the sweet song of a bird or listening to the sound of the water as it plays over the rocks in a quiet little stream.
These are the things that I notice as I take just a few minutes each day to sit with God and allow it to be, just God and me. These aren’t big things, they are small and simple; yet, they bring such joy to my heart and with joy comes great peace and peace brings harmony to my soul. Joy can be found in the little things.
I have found that when you experience joy, happiness follows and it radiates out of you like the rays of the sun, touching all those whose lives you touch… and it spreads. Spreading joy isn’t hard, because all it takes is truly caring about someone else. It is found in a smile, a kind word, a good deed, by showing love and compassion. That’s it. That is all it takes. Where there is love, you will find joy.
I was sitting outside one morning, drinking my coffee and enjoying the early morning sun. The winds were soft as silk against my skin and the birds were singing so happily. The flowers smelled sweet as their fragrance drifted along with the silken breeze. It reminded me of that day in Heaven. It was such a relaxing, peaceful time before I had to start my day.
Later that morning I had gone to do some errands. One of the places I needed to go was the doctor’s office to pick up a paper I needed and while I was waiting for it to be signed, I noticed a man standing in line waiting to sign in for his appointment. He had this look about him that I recognized, although I wasn’t sure why I had recognized it. He seemed to have such pain in his eyes and I could feel the brokenness of his spirit. Then, I heard Jesus’ voice saying “tell him”. When I walked up to the man I had no idea exactly what I was going to say but because of my relationship with Jesus ,which is that of a brother and there is deep trust and love, which enables me to step out and say “yes Lord , I will do as you ask with no question”. It was through my “yes” that Jesus had given me the right words to say. They were His words, not mine. Jesus knows hearts. He knew the heart of the man before he ever entered the building that day and He knew my heart as well. Jesus put us in the same place at the same time so this man could be given the message God wanted him to have.
I walked up to the man and began to speak to him… I asked him if he was a Vietnam Veteran and He said that he was, I then asked him if he had a moment because I had something very important that I needed to tell him. He nodded and we stepped aside. Then I began to tell him that all the servicemen involved with the war that we are now in always get a hero’s welcome when they come home and are treated so well, and when 9/11 happened, the police and the fireman and all who were involved with that, were heroes and were treated as such… I wanted him to understand that in my heart he was every bit as much a Hero. I thanked him for fighting, for doing what he did and for making all the sacrifices he made. I told him that I understood his pain and that I knew he didn’t understand why things went the way they did, that he was just doing what he was ordered to do by his commanding officer. I told him I understood that he had no choice, that he had been so very young, and scared, and that he didn’t even know why he was there fighting in that war half the time, just that he was told to be there, so he went.
After saying all that, I said it to him again “You are my hero, thank you so much for what you did for all of us.” At this point tears were streaming down his face and mine too. He hugged me and said thank you. He got back in line and I sat down. A little while later, as I was ready to leave, He was also leaving his appointment, how amazing the way things work out, he walked up to me and said,” I wanted to thank you for all that you said to me in there. Today, I had planned to end my life but you changed that for me, I am not going to do that now. I am going to stay now. So, thank you”. He had such a sparkle in his eyes and a smile on his face that wasn’t there before and when he told me that, I felt such joy and happiness like I had never felt before. We hugged each other again and as I was leaving to head to my car I heard him whistling a song as he walked to his car. Thank God.
Whenever I think of him, and I do from time to time, I offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for him and for all who have ever served in any of the conflicts, battles, wars or disasters, throughout history. They are the heroes, all of them! If any of you are reading this book, you all are my heroes!!
Whether you have ever been recognized or not, I am recognizing you now and saying thank you.
I have learned over the years that when I have said “Yes” to Jesus no matter the outcome, Joy and peace always come.
“Joy does come in the little things and it comes in acts of love towards others.
That man gave me the most beautiful gift one could give. He gave me joy. For his joy became my joy. When I have said “Yes” to Jesus no matter the outcome, joy and peace always come.
Sharon Milliman (c) 2016