Wednesday, March 5, 2014


As I have mentioned, Bill Johnson has been talking about joy in this chapter of “Face to Face With God.” When he started talking about the joy center of the brain, I thought, hmm, this sounds familiar. Then he mentioned the book “Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You” and I was floored. My dad told me about this book, but he did not tell me that Johnson quoted this book, which my dad co-authored. Another great book to put on your reading list! But, back to Johnson. His quote from “Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You” talks about how important joy is to child development. “In a child’s first two years, the desire to experience joy in loving relationships is the most powerful force in life. In fact, some neurologists now say that the basic human need is to be the ‘sparkle of someone’s eye.’ ”
            To paraphrase more of my dad’s book, There is actually a part of the brain devoted to joy. If a child does not receive joy, is not smiled at, for example, the child will be clinically depressed. This knowledge puts greater weight on the importance of the role of parents to truly delight in their children. However, Bill is quoting this passage for another reason. He says people have little joy in their life because of the way they view God. He says “The church is crippled in most of its Christian life because people view God as the One who longs to punish instead of save, the One who reminds them of sin instead of forgiving.”
            I want my daughter to think of me as one who loves her no matter what. But more importantly, I want her to view God that way. We are the sparkle in God’s eyes. He delights in us individually, just as we delight in our loved ones individually.
            I am posting a link to an unusual video, because it is such a wonderful depiction of absolute joy. Watch it and remember, this is how God loves us. 
Beth Kropf