A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful heart works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
I love the mental picture this proverb conjures up in my mind. I like the internal scene I envision as someone who is smiling, happy, and whose outlook contains an uplook. Their cheerful thoughts mirroring good actions and choices into their life.
Especially, I like the warning in the second part of this principle, the adage that those with a broken spirit (heart) become dried up, brittle, and hard to be around. Not a face you want to see looking back at you in the mirror.
Lately, I’ve been hearing lots of news that has been causing good people to “lose heart.”
And that just breaks mine.
It is hard to be cheerful when people are hurting (harder still to smile through pain.)
Would that I could just spread some healing dust over a situation and make it magically disappear…because that’s exactly what I would do.
And I’d be wrong.
Alleviating another’s difficult situation (or wanting to do so) is a kindness…but sometimes letting things work themselves out over time (and working through the hardship) is the most loving act of all.
Women especially, tend to rush in and fix whatever is broken.
Because we feel others’ hurts so deeply, we prefer the fast-food approach to solving heart-breaking problems…and yet, anyone who has been a parent knows you have to allow your children to experience some bumps and bruises, some cause and effect, some hurts and losses, along life’s way…otherwise they’ll never be equipped to handle life outside the protective confines of home.
So…we give those we love room to get a little bumped around and bruised up so they can develop the inner strength to persevere through disappointments, setbacks, and other life challenges (when outsiders won’t be so kind and merciful as we are.)
As our loved ones journey through the rough patches, we stand with them so they don’t lose heart…and until they re-orient their minds to see the bigger picture and press through to the other side.
The real beauty of dealing with heartbreak is when you come full circle and all that pain is transformed into a changed heart and mind.
When what you see is…
A beautifully broken but wondrously lovable perfectly imperfect person whose pain mirrors back hope to everyone around them.