Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” James 1:17
I guess I needed a little Kickapoo Joy Juice. When I was a kid, I loved anything that was free. It seemed back then marketers were always giving something away to try to lure consumers. When I was about nine or ten and living in Jacksonville, one of the local radio stations, WAPE or “The Ape,” was giving away little orange styrofoam balls. You would put the ball on your car antenna (which in those days was a metal stick about thirty inches long). “The Ape” would have cars driving around and if they got behind you and announced your tag number on the radio, you received a prize. It was amazing how many people had those balls on their antennas. I think at one time we put two or three on there trying to increase our chances.
I also remember different companies giving away vinyl decals. Countless times I would go the local “Minute Market” to see if they had anything. One of my favorites was a soft drink that came out in 1965. It was taken from the comic strip, Li’l Abner, and was called “Kickapoo Joy Juice.” It was similar to Mountain Dew and like Mountain Dew, had an extra kick of caffeine. I would go to the store and, if I had a dime, I would buy the drink but the real mission was to get the free decal to put somewhere in my room or on my notebook. From the number of decals I had, you would have thought it was my favorite drink.
Recently, I bumped into another kind of Kickapoo. During my dance with COVID, remember I nicknamed her Corena, my doctor and friend decided it would be good for me to try an infusion of special medicine. It is given to folks that have a compromised immune system. In my case because of my age and the fact that I am diabetic he thought it appropriate. So I went to the hospital, pulled out my wallet and got some Kickapoo Joy Juice. And even that was an experience.
They asked me to wait in my car and they would come and get me. Sure enough, after a few minutes, two people came out. One was a nurse to make sure I felt like walking, I did, and the other was an escort, a bouncer of sorts, to “part the water.” Her job was to either stop normal people when I came anywhere close, or to stop me from being too close to them. I’m not sure if I felt important or felt like one of the lepers from the Bible. Remember how they had to shout, “Unclean, unclean?” Well, I’m pretty sure I know how they felt. But everyone was super kind and before long I was settled in to get my infusion of “Kickapoo.”
Well, it took almost an hour for the infusion and then I had to stick around for another hour just to make sure something weird didn’t happen. It didn’t. I went home and since I was in the middle of the storm, I really didn’t have a good day or night but about noon the next day, my fever broke, and I began to feel some better. I’m not at a hundred precent but each day is getting better and I am grateful. I.Am.Grateful.
Saturday night I was having supper with Judy, and she prayed the blessing for our food. I thought she went a little over the top thanking God for this bump in our lives. When she finished praying, I jokingly said, “Let’s not overdo the gratitude thing for this.” I said it in jest, but really, it didn’t need to be said at all. I don’t know all the good that is going to come out of my dance with Corena, but I know it will far outweigh the bad.
The same James, the half-brother of Jesus, that I quoted a couple of stories ago, said that every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above. Think about that. Every good and perfect gift comes down from a God who loves us more than we can imagine. Just like my doctor and friend knew the cost would be high for my dose of Kickapoo Joy Juice, he also knew it would be of great benefit. And my Abba Father, sent His only Son to a broken world and a cruel cross for the same reason, except it was more than for our benefit. It was so we could be redeemed…set free. Amazing. He knew the price, which was higher than we could ever imagine, yet He did it. Why? He just loves us so.
Well, hopefully my dance with Corena continues to a swift end. Thanks for the dance Corena, because you taught me to hurt with others. And thank you Dearest Daddy for trusting me with the dance and for showing me once again that, “You’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne