Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Face of Joy

As a writer, I feel I need to recognize the outward displays of human emotions. Recognizing other's responses helps me write portray my characters accurately.Today, because of the partly sunny skies let's talk about joy.

Joy is an emotion people love to share. Something exciting, wonderful, unexpected but good, went as planed, received, given, accepted, completed, started, organized, and etc. has happened.

This is not just a bubbly feeling to share. A story is attached to this emotion that begs telling over and over again. Photos shared. Videos replayed. This is newsworthy!

This man has something to say.

Whatever splashed the smile on his face will not remain unspoken. He is energized, vibrant, excited to share the second by second replay, with elaborations, of course. If you let him, he will dramatize  the entire story including adding sound effects. 

He will share his interpretation, feelings, allude to outlier details. He will tell his story to strangers and wish for new people to ask what happened. 

The event that made him happy took place very recently. As time slips by, his outward enthusiasm will soften. However, a small related stimulation of the memory will splash this same smile back on his face. 

Go ahead, make his day. Ask him what happened and watch the smile broaden.

This child's joy could be from giving or receiving. The gift, is important, but not the whole story. 

If she is the recipient, the response is directed to the individual giving the gift. Sure she wants to know what's inside, but this photo is before the gift is open. Therefore the smile is not about what is inside, but because who has given the gift.

Her wide, bold colored eyes, are looking at the giver. The dimpled smile demonstrates recognition. Can you see joy radiating from her facial expression? 

The giver thought of her. She is important to them. The gift giver has shown the child she has value. She is pleased and demonstrates her response not only with her facial expression but by the outstretched arms. She accepts the gift giver's expression.

I wonder what this woman heard. 

Did her boss offer a promotion, a raise, did her boyfriend propose, was her bid on a house accepted? Did her father successfully recover from an illness?

Note her eyes looking up. She is listening intently, understands what was/is said, and is so overjoyed the best words have not come to her attention. She is give 100% attention to the caller, so much so she must look in a direction no one will distract her. 

She shows her energy by playing with the phone cord. Her body is leaning forward, engaging in the situation. She is comfortable and therefore only needs two fingers and a thumb to balance the phone. (In contrast, an angry person would grasp the phone with their whole hand)

God has asked us to share His love with those we know, meet, are engaged with in our daily lives. If we shared our relationship with Christ, would we look like these people? As the person we speak to listens and is drawn to ask questions, would they be joyful? We don't know. It depends . . . not on us. Our job is to share in a compelling way.

Reader, what causes you to give a joyful response? 


Janice said...

I feel joyful when I know I have helped a person. I also feel joyful when I am outside in nature seeing the beauty of God's creation.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Me too, Janice. But I think I would like to stop wearing my winter coat when going outside to see the beauty. Sheesh!