There’s nothing funny about cancer. But after my diagnosis in 1990, I figured laughter could be good medicine for our family.
Upon learning that my chemo pill actually was a worming medicine designed to kill intestinal parasites in sheep and dogs, I would pop one in my mouth and start barking and chasing my squealing daughters around the house. My husband mentioned to our friends that I had been de-wormed and he was thinking of getting me a rabies shot too. The pills were expensive and he often suggested we call our cat’s vet to try and get them cheaper. (A regular comedian, huh?)
My support groups had a reputation for lots of laughing. And every time we laughed together, it reminded us we still were alive . . . and that always was worth celebrating!
If you don’t have a laughing support group (or a comedian husband!), Dave Dravecky’s Outreach of Hope (now https://www.endurance.org) years ago published five suggestions to “strengthen your funny bone:”
- Start your own comedy collection of jokes and cartoons. Do an Internet search for “clean jokes” and you’ll find some good laughs. Post them at your desk or on your fridge so you can remind yourself to smile. (Do you know how to make Michigan cookies? Put them in a bowl and beat them for three hours!–OK maybe that’s only funny if you’re a Buckeye like me!)
- Get your groceries and get a chuckle by reading some of the tabloid headlines while standing in line. (I just read about aliens with anorexia and manure as a miracle cure for arthritis! Of course, when I purchase these magazines they are business expenses because I share the stories in my laughter talk 🙂 )
- Browse greeting-card racks and enjoy reading funny cards. You can even buy one to brighten someone’s day! (One day at work I received a card which read: “I bet I can still float your boat…even if I don’t have both oars in the water!” It was from my wonderful husband to cheer me up.)
- Become a humorous people groupie by hanging out with funny people. (You know who you are…you’re either a funny friend or you need one!)
- Make the most of embarrassing moments. (Did I tell you about the time a pair of my underwear dropped out of my jeans’ pant leg onto the floor of a Christian bookstore?……….Never mind.)
In his NY Times bestseller, The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren writes that our first purpose in life is to please God. Or as Warren puts it, “The smile of God is the goal of your life.”
No matter what you’ve gone through or what still lies ahead—whether you have no cancer, a little cancer or a lot of cancer; whether your trial disappears, grows more intense or perhaps never leaves—will you choose choose to please God and bring a smile to His face? It is your choice.
I have a blessing for you from Numbers 6:24-26 today:
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favor
and give you His peace.
Be sure to open in your browser to hear “The Blessing” from Bethel Music. You may even want to close your eyes and hear this as a prayer for you.