Glowing with Joy

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Mother and I got to visit with her younger brother Joel and his wife on Wednesday. My Uncle Joel has been disabled since he was fifty years old, when a series of heart attacks left him with heart function at about 25 percent. He hasn’t been able to work at a job since then, but he has worked hard to build up his strength and his heart by going to the YMCA to exercise. When the doctors told us about his one-quarter of a heart, I didn’t expect him to live to be 74, but he has.

Joel has been very ill this year and he talked honestly about that, but he emphasized the fact that he is making progress — progress like being able to sleep at night.

When I think back on the first fifty years of Joel’s life, I think of him and his wife rearing their four beautiful strawberry blond children and of his love for the outdoors. He enjoyed horses and dogs, in particular.

The first thing I noticed about Joel on Wednesday was his sweetness. He was attentive and sweet to my mother, his oldest sister. Others of Joel’s beautiful traits of character were evident, too, as they always are. Joel is gentle and kind. He smiles a lot and his laugh is wonderful. It’s one of those laughs that warms the heart.

My mom and her siblings were at a family reunion a couple of years ago. From left to right, they are Lavon, Evelyn (my mother), Nan, and Joel.
I recently showed you this photo of my mom and her siblings at a family reunion a couple of years ago. Here they are again. From left to right, they are Lavon, Evelyn (my mother), Nan, and my glowing Uncle Joel.

I was glowing with joy when our visit was over, because I had been in the presence of my glowing Uncle Joel.

You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on the lampstand, and it gives light
to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16


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