JoyToday’s Word: ‘Joy’ as in… having it for no apparent reason.

While visiting with the staff of the Iringa Diocese in Iringa, Tanzania, the director shared with us the marvelous story of the Lutheran Church’s presence in the country. He was describing how they support and encourage pastors to lead congregations in the cities, in the remote villages, and every place in between.

At one point the director looked at us and said,

“We’ve learned to experience joy for no apparent reason.”

It was at that point that I realized I wasn’t in “Kansas” anymore. So often, for me—I’ll just speak for myself, joy is connected to something I receive; a gift, a touch, a taste, an aroma, a bed to sleep in, something sensory.

I didn’t have it. I have it now. I’m joyful. My, oh my. How limiting. How very small of me.

“We’ve learned to experience joy for no apparent reason” he said.

At the orphanage we played with the kids, so many of whom have lost their families to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Kids. Little kids. Kids the age of my grandkids. And we played and we sang and laughed and danced and held hands and played some more.

Joy in the midst of… well, everything. Joy for no apparent reason. Can you think of the last time you experienced that?


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