Healing Power of Joy (and Laughter)

“A joyful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22a (NAS)

Enjoyment of life is a great gift, but there are things that come into our lives that tend to rob us of our joy. Sometimes those things are related to physical problems. 

When life gets me down, I pray, but I also often curl up with a book and become lost in a good story. My spirits are usually lifted by authors who employ humor in their storytelling and by stories with unique characters.

During my extended stay with our younger daughter, Joanne, as she valiantly battled cancer, several of us became involved with relatives and friends in our own little “book club.” It was amazing to observe how much the reading and discussing of entertaining stories lifted our spirits. This involvement helped pass the time and caused things like chemotherapy to no longer be the ever-looming dark cloud.

A favorite of the “Cancer Clubbers” was Alexander McCall Smith’s, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. We laughed our way through Mma Ramotswe’s hilarious adventures at her very own detective agency in Botswana, and we anxiously awaited her solutions to each mystery. 

We also polished off The Mitford Series by Jan Karon. For the spouses and kids in the group who have lived in parsonages, identifying people we might have “known” in the descriptions of Father Tim’s church members was sometimes rather easy. We all rooted for Father Tim to find a wife and enjoyed the way he handled the unusual problems in his parish.

A talented few authors possess the ability to lure readers into a positive world that provides a temporary escape from trouble and pain. Amazingly, these are usually the authors who can draw word pictures without including gore, bad language, or erotica. Hats off to that gifted few!

I’m so grateful that Joanne’s cancer is in remission. I pray for those I know who are currently going through surgeries and chemotherapy, and for their families.
I pray especially for:
·        Friend - Lori Cunningham Wegley
·        Suzanne – cousin’s daughter
·        Zoe – cousin’s granddaughter
·        Gale – Fellow OKWU board member
·        Those on my “Prayer Warriors” list who are fighting cancer: Caron, George, Gabriella, Angela, Joanne, Barbara, Doris, Mary Ann, Brennan, Debbie, Jennie, Mary Beth, Kim, Nancy, Dixie, Amy, Bob, Tom, Judy, Jean, Wendy, Aaron, Tami, & Sonny. (Thanks to Pat Wilcox at St. Andrew, Saline, MI, who coordinates this group of faithful prayer warriors.)


  1. I haven't read more than textbooks in two years. I am going to find the series you mentioned!

    1. Captain Nancy, I understand having one's nose constantly in textbooks when working on a degree. Hope you have time for some fun reading soon!

  2. Love the Mitford Series! :) I laughed my way through the books!

    1. tgue, you probably would also enjoy The No.1 Ladies Detective series.