Friday, September 6, 2013

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Proverbs 15:13
A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

I love to laugh and because I love to laugh, I would like to bring a smile to your face and apply some medicine to your heart. There have been times when I have laughed at myself and at my circumstances and was able to bring laughter to others as well. I hope this short story will bring at least a smile to your face.

Sometimes we take life way too seriously. We have been taught to run through our lives with such a speed we have no time to laugh. I remember reading that children laugh over 300 times in a day when adults laugh less than 15 times. 15! What happens to us when we grow up! If you are down, laughing aloud may seem impossible. You may even look at laughing people and feel they are inconsiderate and loud. But if you are one of the laughing groups, you’d never think that. I hear the real saints of today are the ones who make you laugh. They give you the best gift - the gift of joy. They really show laughter is the best medicine. 

One beautiful sunny day, while living in Southern California, I had just taken my married daughter to her home, dropped her off and was returning to the church where my pastor/husband was patiently waiting to take me to lunch. The wind was a major factor living in the high desert and blew constantly. On this particular day, I was not paying attention to the blowing wind, I was just enjoying life while driving down the road.

The street I was traveling on was a large street with a continuing downward slope and on the west side of the road was an elementary school. As I passed by, I saw the children playing outside at recess. All of a sudden, a ball came over the fence and my first impulse was to stop the van and retrieve the ball for the children. So, I did! I stopped the van, jumped out and headed towards the ball. Unfortunately, I was dressed in a skirt, nylons and non-running shoes. As I walked around the front of the van to get the ball, the wind caught the ball causing it to roll faster and faster down the street. I started to jog after the ball which was unusual for me–––being the non-runner that I was. (Remember the downward slop of the street?) With all the children on the playground watching me, I began to pick up speed as I continued after the ball. I could feel myself leaning forward and now knew my feet could not run any faster. The pull of the downward grade had a grip on me. Then it happened! I lost control and fell on the side of the road. It wasn’t a pretty sight, my skirt flew up over the back of my head, I ripped my nylons, scraped my knee, cut open my hand and my chin on the asphalt curb. By this time, the children on the playground were hanging on the fence watching the funny lady in a skirt–––WIPE-OUT! OUCH! As I limped back to my van, bleeding and crying, I realized I had lost all pride and self-control on the two-foot asphalt curb. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the children looking at me and no doubt wondering, “Will she get our ball for us”? I’m sure you’re wondering the same question and the answer is, NO! I didn’t get the ball! My legs and hands were shaking from the trauma of the fall and it took all my strength to hoist myself back up into the big sixteen passenger van. I cried all the way to the church and wasn’t looking forward to the response of my husband when I arrived.

It truly was a lovely day despite my collision with the Maple Street Road. When I arrived at the church, my husband had his office door open and was enjoying the sunshine and warm air. I managed to get out of the van without falling down but I looked as if I had been in a wreck of some kind. With my nylons torn, dirt on my skirt and blood running down my chin and hand, I was a sight to behold. My husband heard me crying from inside his office and as I limped through the opened door,  he shot up like a jack rabbit shouting, “What happened to you?” My tearful response was, “I don’t want to tell you, you’ll laugh at me!” He said he wouldn’t, laugh but I knew better and hesitated to give any reply. I went to the restroom in his office and began to wash my face and my hand which had some gravel embedded in it. He sat on the lid of the commode and continued to ask me, “What happened?” I finally gave in and as I had already supposed what he would happened....he laughed! “Oh,” He said, “Is that all? I thought you had been in a car wreck or something.” “What do you mean is that all?  Look at me! I”m a wreck and hurting!”  I called my daughter to get some sympathy but to my surprise, she laughed as well.  Even my husband’s secretary, who was my friend, laughed out loud over the phone. That night at church, a scab had already formed on my chin from the fall. A lady came up to me and with a quick lick of her thumb, tried to clean my chin of some dirt she thought was there. I stepped back before she could actually “clean” my face and then the question came ....”What happened to you?” 

Laughter is one of the best natural pain-killers in this world. According to a recent study, laughter can lower risks of a heart attack by a LOT. Laughter also reduces stress, therefore lowering blood pressure. That's a whole lot of health benefits just from laughing! It produces happy chemicals in the body called endorphins which work in the brain to give an overall feeling of well-being. 

Thought: I hope this story has made you laughed just a little and produced some happy chemicals in our body. I read this story to some of my grandchildren and one of them asked, “Gram, is that true, was that really you?” In case you were wondering if this was a true story, I want you to know, “Yes,” it was all true. LOL

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