Cheerful Medicine

by Linda Andersen

Originally titled: They’ll Make It, Oh Yeah

The happy trio skips across the parking lot.   They catch my eye because they laugh.  This winsome threesome laughs.  On a hot and sultry day, with wars going on, jobs unsure,  their whole future hanging on the whims of Washington, they laugh.


They are very young.  Her, shorts and pony tail.  Him, slicked hair, short.  A child swings high between them.  One, two, three, up!  They swing him up and forward toward the golden arches doorway.  His head tips back and he giggles.  They laugh, and they do it again, and again.  Anything to make it fun.  Then in through the doorway, and a tickle or two to finish.


My table is next to theirs, and I watch them grin, and grin some more.  The child speaks, they grin.  He moves, they smile.  Wife tells joke, husband grins.  She talks, heart light. They play at eating, and almost don’t, except for the fun.  I can tell.  French fries.  Anointed with joy.  Hamburgers, food for gods.


The boy shows a face when he turns.  Food smears.  Parents laugh: laugh  and dab.  Dad speaks:  “ I can’t resist him when he looks like that, can you?“  Wife giggles.  No crisis here.  No mountain out of  molehill.  No “teachable moment” they must catch.  Just fun.  Plain fun.  Gobbled up while it’s ripe.  Child eats fries and drinks love.


I bet they haven’t read the books, haven’t gone to the classes, or heard the sermons.  They’re way too young.  Bet this comes naturally.  Bet it does, because I see it real.


Then, quick, and I’m in their circle.  Boy catches my eye, and ducks, timid.  Parents see and grin.  “He’s shy.”  We talk and I think I get it…think I see the glue that makes them stick.  They like each other.  They really, really like each other!  Their liking is a banner, and they wave it wide. They show it proud.   Fun is a hamburger.  Fun is a coke.  Fun is being with each other and making jokes over stuff that’s small: like a dirty face on a 4-year old.


I wave goodbye, and I think I know about them.  I think their “ship” might spring a leak or two, but it will float.  I think their balloons will sometimes burst.  I think I know it will rain on their parades.  The world won’t stop churning.  But this “cord of three strands” won’t break.  I think it will last, and they will stay in the game.  I think their laughing will beat back storms and  ride the waves.  I think this team of three will ford their streams and mend their tents and laugh from their bellies, and grin from their souls.  I think this team  will win!


“A cheerful heart is good medicine.”  Proverbs 17:22

Thought for today:  Try wrapping some laughter around whatever life throws your way today.  What better medicine!

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