Kathleen McCarty

Broken Yet Blessed

The Gift of Laughter

As many of you know, I’m a breast cancer survivor of almost 25 years now. I’m so grateful for having had wonderful physicians and surgeons who attended to all of my medical needs with incredible professionalism, skill and knowledge. I know that being in their capable hands contributed significantly to my healing and well being.

But I’m equally grateful to someone whose knowledge was not in the medical field. She was, in fact, a spiritual mentor to me. She had heard that the doctors mandated I was not to return to work for 6-8 weeks and I was to spend the first week home in bed as part of the recuperative process. Shortly after I arrived home from the hospital, I received a package in the mail from her. In that large manila envelope were four videos and a book. The videos were a collection of humorous movies, including one of the Three Stooges. The book was a book of jokes.

At first I was a little confused, but in a letter included in the package she reminded me that the Bible says that laughter is good medicine, and that a merry heart strengthens the bones (Prov 17:22.) Watching those crazy movies and reading those silly jokes not only made me laugh, but I also began to notice that my attitude was becoming more upbeat and positive by the moment. By the second week home I couldn’t wait to get back into life. And, indeed, at my six-week checkup, both my physician and my surgeon commented on how beautifully I had healed, and how healthy in general I appeared to be.

Are you facing a health challenge right now? I’m not suggesting that laughing will make it go away, nor am I minimizing the vast array of emotions that accompany the diagnosis of a disease, or the challenges that arise in addressing that medical challenge. But, having a merry heart and a positive attitude can contribute to better health and a sound resolve to get well quickly. Thank God for good doctors, to be sure, and the good medicine they provide; but thank God also for the gift of laughter – it’s good medicine too!