Detective MonkMaybe if I narrowed my focus, I thought. Then put my open hands on each side of my face, Detective Monk-style. I moved around within my restricted view like a horse with blinders, which blocked out the unwanted aspects of the scene outside the window. Finally, I settled down in the window seat, content for a moment to view a portion of the lake that was, in one narrow view, undisturbed by the invasion of the urban world. This moment was enough to fix in my memory the beauty of the lake as seen by a detective looking for clues no one else could see. This constricted scene became my secret comfort during the months of construction. I could sit in the window seat and block out the ugly, unwanted parts of my world that I had no control over, and that brought me no joy.
Tunnel visionSo many times in our daily struggle to keep up with the progress and unrelenting expectations of the world, we need tunnel vision to find the rare and beautiful. We need to retreat momentarily to regain the joy we so easily lose in striving always to be aware of the entire scope of life around us. We can be joy detectives! When we narrow our focus to one significant detail of whatever situation we are in we can find the joy the Lord wants to show us. Whatever the setting or circumstance, we can discover joy hidden somewhere, just waiting for us to find it. Now my eyes see the full view of the lake as it is today with the bridge spanning its beauty. The eyes of my heart narrow to see the lovely scene I found so breathtaking when I first discovered it years ago.
Detecting joyAny day in church I can choose to use tunnel vision to experience the joy of my children’s baptisms, confirmations and weddings celebrated there, even if I am attending a funeral. With tunnel vision, discovering a photo of the family around the Christmas tree pinpoints the intense joy of that day, no matter how long ago it was or how our relationships have changed since then. We can discover the joy of the Lord in the embrace of a friend who spontaneously hugs us when she is unaware we need it the most.
Can you open the eyes of your heart and become a joy detective, finding joy from within your heart wherever you are?
Copyright 2018 Nancy HC Ward
About the Author
Nancy Ward authored Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies (and the DVD) and contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. She loves to share her conversion story and give evangelization workshops and retreats equipping others to share their faith. She facilitates the DFW Catholic Writers, Catholic Writers Guild Nonfiction Critique Group, serves on their Board, and speaks at writers’ conferences. Learn more at JoyAlive.net and NancyHCWard.com.