“Utter Despair” walked with a crooked stick and could no longer see clearly as her feet stumbled along the path. “Where am I going?” she moaned. “I’ve lost my way.”
In the distance, a band of angels heard her sorrowful voice and began preparations to help, but “Utter Despair” was unaware of them or their plans as she plodded along with no hope of recovery. The despairing soul had lost her covering long ago after she had meddled in the affairs of the world. She had put on the veil of worldliness not recognizing that in doing so, her glory would be lost- even the mind of purity and simplicity.
“Oh, to be a child once more,” “Utter Despair” wailed. “There would be no wrinkles from harassment or sagging from despair then. Life would be full of expectancy and excitement, but what is there to hope for now?”
“Comforter”, the white dove who was always perched on her shoulder, would not speak. His instruction from “The Most High” was to hold his tongue until he was called upon. He waited for “Utter Despair” to request his assistance, but day after day she disregarded his presence and his long forgotten instruction to “be still and know.”
One day, a frog whose name was “Agitation” stepped into her path. “Foolish woman!” he bellowed. “You’re in my way. Out of it!” He commanded.
“Utter Despair” could not believe her eyes. “How could that unclean creature be standing there blocking my way and even taking authority over me?” she thought incredulously. She had forgotten that power and authority had been given to her over all her enemies and she had left “Praise”, her favorite companion behind. That was the beginning of all her troubles.
“Holy Spirit”, help me!” she cried. The precious dove that had been patiently waiting all along, immediately rows up, flattering and then clapping his wings.
“It’s about time!” he announced. “You need a name change “Utter Despair”. Repeat after me: ‘I am “Joy”, I am “Love”!’ until you know that’s who you are”, he directed with an authority that had awesome power.
The ground shook and her body trembled like a wobbly newborn colt. With each recitation, “Utter Despair’s” name changed. She went from “Despair” to “Hope”; after that from “Hope” to “Faith” followed by “Expectant” and then, the crooked stick of “Corruption” plummeted out of her hand and the heavenly band of angels came out of nowhere carrying with them the rod of “Redemption”.
“Here “Love-Joy”. You’ve been given your new name along with the rod. You must use it and put on immortality. No unclean spirit will overcome you again, but you must never lay the rod down”, Michael, the arc angel warned with a stern look that “Love-Joy” took to heart.
The moment the rod was in her hand, “Agitation” quaked. “It’s doomsday. It’s doomsday!” he croaked trying desperately to move out of the way.
“Love-Joy” pointed the rod of glory at him and without even raising her voice, commanded: “Be no more “Agitation”! Poof! “Agitation” disappeared as though he had never been and instead, in his place were rays of glory and the vibrating notes of a new song. The angels who were the only creatures ever formed who could pick up musical sounds and glory rays as humans would a baby, took the rays and notes and inserted them into “Love-Joy’s” heart.
“Oh!” she cried with delight. “I’m alive! I’m alive!” and indeed, she was miraculously transformed from death into life. A new melody was in her being and despair flew away.
And so now behold: This story is becoming ours: “Love-Joy” is the Word made flesh in you and in me!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2