Five Seconds Away From Joy, Better Health, and Peace of Mind
Cocoa paint congealed in my orange plastic tray today, as my seventeen year old
son’s sick voice continued huskily. “My fever is higher again and I just wanna
“Oh bud, why don’t you sleep there tonight and I’ll come get you first
thing tomorrow morning?”
It was late afternoon, with rush hour starting soon, and his camp was a three
hour’s drive away. Plus my new trim paint brush dripped freshly-loaded
paint, and splashes were already beginning to harden on the wall.
He waited quiet on the phone, breathing hard, and my husband motioned me to go
from the background. “Really?” he asked then weakly and the mom in me
“Okay, I’ll come get you, bud. That’s fine. I’ll leave in twenty minutes,
Interestingly, both my sons struck fevers on the same day – 133 miles apart
from each other. Saturday morning, my youngest woke us up at five am, padding
in on hot little legs, whimpering. His heart thumped madly in his tiny chest,
and we cuddled on the couch as the sun rose. Later that day, while I was on my
way to urgent care with flushed little Daniel, we got the call that John, our
oldest son, was feverish and ill at camp as well.
Red-cheeked, limp, and vacant-eyed, four year old Daniel slumped against his
car-seat Saturday. I maneuvered corners, and scanned the directions. “We’re almost
there, okay, buddy? How are you doing?”
“Me doing well, Mom,” he stated weakly, lapsing into silence. Minutes
later, a tiny voice from the back seat broke the quiet. Straining to hear what
he was saying, I was amazed to hear him singing, “oh my soul…,” a worship song that he knew.
An elusive magazine article, that has slipped my brain, promised better health and peace of mind to me this week, all through the power of singing. (When I find it, I’ll link it here, okay? Sorry.)
out. Can I admit to you, though, that I was crabby and begrudging the delay in
painting? Rain hit halfway through the trip, and my broken windshield wipers
flopped oddly, smacking rubber against the top of my car and along the passenger
side, smearing my vision as I drove. I grumbled. My paper directions and the
roads didn’t coincide. I grumbled, stopped for directions, pulled into some
u-turns, and grumbled again.
He talked to me, then, my Maker; he sent seas of sunflowers to line my
highways, and jump-start my sense of humor. I cracked jokes to myself, grinning
madly at them, apologizing to him, and choosing joy. Turning on Christian
radio, I started to sing along.
At the camp, my car crept along curving, crackling dirt roads. Tracking him
down, I found my tall, lanky seventeen year old son in a temporary sick bay, looking gaunt and weak. We loaded him up, hugged the
summer staff good bye, and headed home, a three hour trip.
“Mom, I was a little bit angry at God,” he admitted ten minutes onto
the highway. “I didn’t want to be sick anymore, so I decided to sing. I
knew that praising and cursing couldn’t come out of the same mouth– not that I
was cursing, Mom — but I chose praise. I couldn’t really sing; I didn’t
have much of a voice.” He shared also of playing the guitar and dripping sweat.
“My voice was kind of squeaky,” he laughed, trailing off
weakly, and he stared slack-jawed out the front.
song slid through the car. Suddenly I heard raspy whispering beside me.
Singing Majesty, Majesty.
Forever I am changed by Your love,
In the presence of Your Majesty…
consistently chosen gentleness and worship. In raspy voices with shaky breaths,
on their own in empty cars with me, they taught me lessons on choosing joy,
lesson that God had to show it to me multiple times, I joined in.
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?…
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name…
worship his holy name.