There is something I do not have right now. Something that is seen as a need by others–and by me. There is a need for this thing. I have been doing what I can to fill this need. So far without success. Because this circumstance in my life–this lack of something–rarely a day goes by that someone does not ask me “aren’t you worried”?
At first I was surprised by this question, then annoyed, then amused and now perplexed. The dictionary says of worry; a troubled state of mind, persistent doubt or fear that produces strong mental agitation, to feel uneasy, anxious, distressed, to be uncomfortable, unhappy, wretched, cheerless, in despair. Is this what people are expecting to see in me? Because of this missing piece I should be wretched, unhappy, cheerless?
This is not to say I do not have some concerns but they are not overwhelming. Some days are not as good as others but truly life is good. There is much to be thankful for. The sun shines and sometimes it rains. I am healthy–with a few aches and pains now and then. I have my cats to sit on my lap and listen to me when I am not making sense–and to occasionally hack up a hairball to keep it all in perspective. I have friends that care about me, encourage me, make me laugh and sometimes tell me the things I do not want to hear. There are people I love–and some of them love me back. Everyday is new with new opportunities and possibilities.
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It seems to me that there is a choice to be made here. Accept worry as the dictionary defines it or do with it as God says. Why would anyone choose the first and be wretched when we can live the second and have peace?
Yesterday a friend and I had a late lunch at a popular neighborhood deli. This friend is one of my favorite people–a person that makes me a better person with her love for me. I am truly blessed knowing her.
When we are together we talk about lots of things. Some serious topics and some not so serious. Sometimes we share our hurts and heartbreaks other times we share our joys and the silliness of our lives. And always there is laughter.
I guess I have taken laughter for granted. It is a part of who I am. Life is often hard and difficult, sad and sorrowful. It can be lonely and frightening, filled with hurt and longing. But it is also filled with gifts; breathtaking beauty and love and joy and dreams and yes, laughter. Or so I thought.
But yesterday as my friend and I were having our lunch and we had talked about some of our woes and about some of the worlds woes. And how we think others should solve some of their problems. And how we really do not always know what we are doing but are doing the best we know. Then came the laughter. There is always laughter. It was not surprising or remarkable to me.
However, it was surprising and remarkable to others. The couple in the booth behind me commented on our laughing. They wanted to know what brought it about. They were, in the man’s words, “wallowing in the disturbing and sad news of our state”. They said it was good to hear people laugh.
Then an older woman stopped at our table and said she was not having a very good day–until she heard us laughing! She said it is so rare to hear real laughter anymore and thanked us for brightening her day.
Since then I have been wondering where IS the laughter? It is not a common sound these days. Are we so wrapped up in our selfish little lives and what we want and all that we have a “right” to that we cannot appreciate life for the gift it is?
A favorite verse of mine:
A cheerful heart is good medicine, a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
How crushed and dried up must we become before we take our medicine?