Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Hello my friends! I have had this scripture on my mind on and off for years. It’s the scripture that runs through my mind on those days where I am feeling as grumpy and like Eeyore.
7 years ago, my life changed. It was sudden and drastic. It was the type of life change that you don’t just build a bridge and get over. It’s one of those changes that you have to build a bridge and get over, while your hands are tied around your back and you can’t walk. I suddenly found myself in a very crippled body. I don’t mean an, “I am just hurty in my body,” type crippled. I’m talking an every limb immobilized, I need many surgeries crippled. I have a fancy shiny handicap plaque to serve as a constant reminder that I am not quite normal.
Depressed, in pain, exhausted, and just ain’t feeling life…type of mental struggles, began to rear their ugly heads. Like smoke rising from smoldering ashes. I fought very ugly thoughts. I felt useless. I felt like my spirit had been broken with my body. This was SO not me. I am a rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies type of thinker like my daughter. I like laughing till I wet my pants (well…maybe not the wet my pants part) but I LOVE that laughing until you can’t breathe, type of laugh. I love making other people smile. I love joy.
During this difficult time, I was reading my scriptures one day and Proverbs 17:22 stopped me in my mental tracks. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” GOOD LIKE A MEDICINE. Uh…I need that medicine. I need that medicine bad, cause momma be a train wreck and she is a hurting! How the thunder do I get the medicine I need for my broken spirit? I needed a merry heart. Now how was I gonna find one of those, dispose of the evidence without this merry heart’s family noticing, and ingest it in a way to medicate myself? Yeah yeah…I know…horrible joke. I know my humor can be a tad too dark for some. I know the scripture means that I need a merry heart. I need to possess a merry heart.
I have found that one thing and one thing alone, softens my heart when I’m in this difficult place where the light is so far off, I can barely see it. I have to be thankful.
This is when I learned to be thankful for even a nail clippers for an ingrown toenail, and a proctologist for my bad attitude. I would lay in my bed and pray and list every single thing and person, I was thankful for. The longer it took, the better. This medicine for a broken spirit doesn’t come easy. It’s like oozing sap from a tree. It is gonna take a lot of thankfulness for enough soul medicine to bring you out of the depths of a broken spirit. If I focused hard enough on what I had…and not what I didn’t…I had a real time being bitter poison.
The absolute coolest part of this, was that I started to see that this medicine we decide to be…is the medicine that will rub off of us and onto everyone we come into contact with. We can be bitter poison, or a medicine to the souls of those around us.
One day as I waited in a line at the store, a middle aged woman stood in front of me. She ranted and complained about the wait, the lack of associates, the speed of our checkout girl’s bagging, and then demanded to talk to a manager who politely came and endured her emotional explosion. Every person in line with me, had a raised eyebrow and was probably as every bit annoyed with her as I was. It was not pleasant being within ear shot of this lady, and the wake of attitude destruction she left…was palpable. The poor sales girl at our checkout had become shaky. She was no longer smiling and she was nervous and avoiding eye contact with the rest of us patrons. A few were ahead of me and quietly paid for their things and scurried off.
As I had stood there, I had noticed that she bagged every bag of groceries with a system. It was a good one so bread wasn’t smashed and eggs weren’t crushed. She had greeted every one with a hello, and asked how their day went, and before the enemy of joy, had stomped through her line, she had flashed some very nice smiles.
My turn approached and as my groceries slid down the conveyor belt, I debated how to patch this poor girl’s occupational injury. I said hello and then paused awkwardly (I only know how to do awkward well) and I said, “I appreciate how you remained respectful and courteous to that woman. All of the rest of us understand you were working as fast as you could, and I really personally appreciate that you are loading food in a way that doesn’t turn a box of corn flakes, into casserole topping before we even get home.” She chuckled and said thank you and SMILED. In fact, as I picked up my bag, the lady behind me was smiling and so was the guy behind her.
I limped out of the store and on the slow hobble, I had a moment of clarity. That lady was bitter poison and she had atomic bombed the atmosphere with negativity that had thundered through each of our souls standing there. Kindness and choosing positivity, had been the medicine. It changed the negative course we had all been abducted with, and freed us to all walk back toward kindness, appreciation, and support.
I leave you with this. Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Be medicine…and let’s permeate whatever pool we wade into, with medicine and joy and healing. Let’s not be a bitter poison that dries the bones.