I recognize now that I reacted so viscerally because even though Jesus had warned me that I’d be mocked, and even though I realize folks at the grocery store just days ago probably wondered what asylum I had wandered out of with all my extra, I’d never experienced the criticism or heard it directly. I didn’t know it was going to sound like THAT – that it was going to feel like THAT. It stung right to my core. Being ridiculed for my enthusiasm, I’m sure it’s happened before. And even though I logically know that a lot of folks won’t get my I-walk-around-in-the-Joy-of-the-Lord and have excitement bubbling over personality and manner, I just wasn’t expecting THAT.
I know that most people’s instinct is to criticize and demean what they don’t understand. Logically, I get it. Now removed from the whole situation, it does make me sad for them that to make themselves feel better in that moment they needed to make fun of me. It pulls on my heart of compassion, realizing they aren't gifted as I am with the presence of God within them everywhere they go lighting up their lives. Knowing they don’t have what I do – this abundant JOY that overflows. And to realize that they’re still so narrow minded that even when they overhear the Joy of the Lord, they have no appreciation for it – their only inclination is to mock it.