She Laughed and So Would I

I sat working quietly. The two Ladies behind me were old friends. Their lives overlapping at work and in their non-work lives. Both nearing retirement age: both I had known many years. They had known each other for a long time. Decades perhaps. The common denominator for their outside work acquaintance: voices that make up a choir that sings for audiences across the nation. Both can frequently be heard humming or singing to themselves songs I often recognize and some I do not.

They were discussing a trip, perhaps an upcoming singing engagement. They discussed airline preferences, and they talked of plans. I halfway heard what they were saying as I was not actually a part of the conversation. I try not to be an eavesdropper. One joked with the other who has been married a number of years, more years than I have been alive. “Are y’all going on a honeymoon?” The other howled with laughter and managed a “No.” that rolled out with a number of syllables as she laughed.

adult-afro-beautiful-1056550The Jokester continued, “Well don’t be coming home pregnant.” Now they both were laughing, and honestly so was I. I giggled to myself at their banter. I smiled at their lighthearted friendship knowing there was no offense given and none taken.

“Girl, don’t you worry! I couldn’t make a baby with a recipe!” I was literally about to start laughing audibly.

I thought for sure in this Chess-game-like moves of words, that this was the final move. The check-mate and surrender from the Jokester knowing she’d been one-upped by her opponent. Beat at her own game. They both laughed and as the Jokester carried on with her business she nonchalantly said, “Well you know that’s what Sarah from the Bible said and you know what happened to her.”

Their laugher roared, echoing down the hall. I had to stand up and walk away lest I risk bursting with laughter myself.

I too, knew about that Barren Sarah, the one to whom they were referring, the woman whom God promised to make a mother. The woman who in her old age bore her husband a son, Isaac, whose name means “he laughs.” Abraham and Sarah both laughed. When the Lord promised that baby to the geriatric couple, they laughed.

I’d’ve laughed too. All those years of a fruitless womb, month after month of disappointment. I can understand that. Sometimes I find myself laughing so I do not cry. Sometimes I laugh at the absurdity of some things. I suppose it may have been a combination of both when Abraham and Sarah laughed. They laughed so they did not cry and they laughed at the absurdity of the thought of ever becoming parents together. But just as was promised, within a year Sarah bore a son and he was named Isaac.

I once was barren, I too, once knew that heartbreak, that hoping for a child, that disappointing void I felt, a chasm created between my husband and myself because of unspoken stress, blame, and strain.

I remember that feeling of impossibility that Sarah must have felt too and many barren women since have felt. Another Biblical womb and the question of pregnancy yielded words of impossibility, the speaker asked simply, “How can this be?”

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:30-37

Luke 1:37, NOTHING is Impossible with God. Not A Thing. I wasn’t nearly as old as Sarah when I was barren but I grabbed hold of that promise that nothing was impossible with God, and as it was so with Sarah, my barrenness no longer defined me and became a statement made in past-tense. However, I still cling to that Word like my life depends on it. The truth of the matter is, there is nothing God can not do, His Word says so.

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Good Medicine

A joyful heart is good medicine,But a broken spirit dries up the bones.

 

Sometimes I go through life so distracted that I hardly notice the world around me. Sometimes my mind is so far from my body, it’s a wonder I stay in one piece. I am not consistently that way though. Sometimes I notice such small details that they serve to bog me down and overwhelm me. I find myself perseverating about those details and become so distracted and weary I feel like I am moving through molasses in December.

This recently happened on a trip to the doctor. It was pouring down rain outside, I had been running late, the parking was terrible, the waiting room filled. I appeared to be the youngest patient that afternoon. I was weary to my bones and found myself sluggish and overwhelmed.

maxresdefaultA bright pink scrub clad young lady was steadily opening the door that led to the back, calling names and waiting patiently for her elderly patients to rise and make their way toward her. I noticed that many of them had names popular for infants. Names like Eleanor, Everett, Henry, Sylvia. It tickled me as I recalled the King’s Word that says there is nothing new under the sun.

As the waiting room emptied I found myself alone. Seated amongst tattered magazines, a clearly outdated one boasted a new Baby Princess, per my recollection that Princess is now somewhere around 3 years old. There was a tool magazine “where good tools come first.” “Versus what?” I wondered, “where Bad tools come first? Or maybe last?”

As I reached for the outdated Princess magazine my hand felt something wobble beneath it. I hadn’t even noticed. I took a second glance to see what I had touched, and noticed an ant farm. I shook my head. Was this my overactive imagination again? Had I just imagined next to the tattered magazines, pages softened by mindless flipping in an effort to pass the time… had I just imagined an Ant farm? Surely not. What would an Ant farm be doing in a doctor’s office?

I looked again, ant farm presence confirmed. I had a mental image and thought predictively, “This is not going to end well.”

ant.farm.14Taped to the top of the Ant farm was a small piece of paper, it read , “Press the lid down firmly all the way to avoid ants escaping.”

Suspicion confirmed. That sign was there for a reason, it hadn’t ended well. Ants had indeed escaped previously, someone or someones needed a written reminder to keep said ants contained.

I started to laugh. The kind of laugh that used to occur whilst I was in church, the kind of laugh that one absolutely can not control and will result in a pinch on the right shoulder from one’s disapproving Mama. The kind of laughter that occurs when one’s 14-year-old cousin has just stuffed the nostrils of Mrs. So-and-So’s “for real fox stole” with paper balls. Every week that foxes nostrils would be cleared of the white occlusions, just so said 14 year old cousin could send one into hysterics yet again. It was a vicious cycle that yielded unrelenting laughter. The kind of laughter where a whole body shakes and tears come to one’s eyes, the kind of laughter that can not be stopped no matter how much one desires to do so. That kind of laughter simply has to run its course and will often give way to side pains and a stomach ache.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

I can say honestly as I went to the doctor that day I went in search of feeling better, good medicine as it were, but in His goodness the King allowed me to see the very thing that would lead me to the medicine to my soul. Laughter. After that hearty giggle I felt better already and I hadn’t even actually seen the doctor yet, but the Great Physician had seen me and brought joy to my heart and laughter to my weary soul.

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