A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
After my father served in the Air Force, he moved our family to South Carolina so he could finish college.
One summer, when I was about 7-years-old, my grandparents invited me to visit them in Pennsylvania. Feeling “big enough,” I eagerly made the trip. But soon, homesickness made me miserable.
One day, a package arrived from my father. It was a plastic container, shaped like a tall-necked Siamese cat, filled with bubble bath. Attached to the cat was a note, written in a spiraled circle, from my Dad. He shared the horror he felt when my sister and brother got lost in their bubble bath water. He searched diligently through the bubbles, but couldn’t find them. So, he let the water out of the tub. He suddenly found them and barely had time to grab them before they went down the drain. That’s my father–always the joker.
My spirit was lightened as I laughed out loud at the silly bubble bath story and the creative way he wrote the note. Each time I used the bubble bath that summer, I recalled the story and giggled again. While he cured my homesickness, I couldn’t wait for the end of the summer so I could return to South Carolina and hug the man who just taught me the value of laughter.
To this day, my Dad always seems to discern what the problem is and noodles over options until he comes up with a solution. He magically adds his special touch to a hard or sad situation transforming it into fun.
Today I remember, value, and apply these lessons from my childhood. Lessons like: play pranks, tell silly stories, and keep life light.
Laugh–it’s good medicine. Yesterday’s sadness will be wiped away into forever gladness.