by Darla Noble
A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Early in my uncle’s ministry he preached at a small country church located at the edge of a small rural community. Among the members of his congregation was an elderly lady named Thelma. Thelma had been a widow for many years and because she was unable to have children, she was completely alone in this world—or she would have been if not for her little church family.
But when Thelma fell and broke her hip, she suddenly found herself homebound. Thankfully her church family didn’t forget about her. They made sure she had plenty to eat, her house was kept clean and her laundry was done. Her yard was mowed and some of the young people (with a bit of adult supervision) planted and tended her garden—something she took great pride in.
One day while my uncle was visiting with Thelma, the home healthcare nurse arrived to check on Thelma’s progress. “Have you been taking your pain pills to keep you comfortable?” the nurse asked.
“I don’t need them,” Thelma replied. “This young man is my preacher. He stops by every few days to visit. He helps keep the grass mowed and his wife brings the children to cheer me up. The rest of my church family makes sure I have plenty to eat, keep the house clean, and see to everything else I need.”
“That’s wonderful,” the nurse smiled, “but that doesn’t do anything for managing your pain.”
“That’s not true,” Thelma told the nurse. “My friends are covering me with so much love there’s no room left for any pain.”
We all need to take a lesson from Thelma and her church family. We need to cover each other with so much love and TLC that there isn’t any room left for pain or sadness.
Prayer: God, please open my eyes and heart to see the needs of others so that I can be the medicine they need to take their pain away. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.