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Gone Pronking!

Watch the video and then decide…did little Faustina spring, bounce, leap, or jump? Actually, that playful little leap is called “pronking,"a hilarious way that lambs express joy.

The first time I saw Faustina pronk, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Her enthusiasm was contagious and before I knew it, we were running back and forth together along the fence line just for kicks and giggles. Never mind that I looked ridiculously undignified. Who is that woman of “a certain age” with disheveled hair and ragged farm shorts and a horse-slobbered tee shirt running and leaping in the pasture like nobody’s watching? And laughing unrestrained with an older woman’s raspy, gaspy voice?

Well, truth is, nobody was watching (I don’t think), except maybe a neighbor randomly glancing out the window. Wait. Let me rethink that…

Actually, God was watching. And I’m pretty sure it made Him smile to see his daughter leaping with joy alongside this little lamb.

Afterward, it made me wonder: How often, consciously or unconsciously, as grown adults, do we “hip-check” our natural or childlike expressions of joy for fear of looking foolish, undignified, or despicable by worldly standards? It’s a story old as time, as old as Biblical time, like when King David couldn’t contain his joy at the long-awaited return of the holy Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem:

As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. ~2 Samuel 6:16

St. John the Baptist “leaped in the womb” of St. Elizabeth at the sound of the Virgin Mary’s voice at the Visitation. King David leaped and danced before the Lord. And in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus himself tells us that when we are mocked, hated, or excluded for His name’s sake, to “rejoice in that day and leap for joy because great is your reward in Heaven.” (Luke 6:23)

Turns out, we are made to leap for joy from the womb to the grave. And it's our heavenly Father’s good pleasure to surround us with people (and animals!) who inspire and animate us to fully embrace the occasions of joy that the Holy Spirit infuses into our everyday life. Yes. Every. Day.

I’d like to write more. Really I would. But the lambs are pronking in the pasture and begging me to join them.

So, my friends, until next time, may your heart—and your feet—be light with joy!


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