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Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: A Harmful Dose of Medicine
By Joanne Malley
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Each day, her voice carried through the airways when she delivered the morning announcements. This was her first small step toward her dream as a journalist, where she would parade in front of the camera, holding a microphone on the scene of some big news story.
Down the row of lockers, Mindy Cooper stood alone. She was an obese young lady who kept to herself, but she always hoped to fit in and be valued for who she is on the inside. I saw her eyes follow Tammy as she walked toward the office. Mindy wore that obvious look of adoration, and I knew in her heart she wished she could be more like her classmate. It wasnít that Tammy was pretty or even nice, but her thin shape, confidence and popularity were traits Mindy wanted.
I am a people-watcher and I had a soft spot for Mindy whenever I looked in her direction. I felt her pain and could relate to not being accepted. I knew from the sadness in her eyes that she was deep in the pit of despair. Tears often emerged when she thought she was alone. I always saw those tears as well as the lonely heart she seemed to wear on her sleeve. Very few ever tried to help her, nor did many care. The unworthiness she felt, must have deepened her wound of loneliness. I tried to reach out to her, but she turned her back on me every time.
Mindyís obesity prevented her from fitting in with the crowd as well as fitting into the newest fashions. Long ago, she came to the realization that she would always be judged by her excessive weight. It seemed society had placed her into a category where the unloved and unnoticed coexist. Unfortunately, she didnít realize I cared.
As a group of boys approached her locker, their looks of disgust pierced through the pain in her eyes. They proceeded to tell her how pretty she was with the sharp blade of their mean-spirited sarcasm. As they sliced another chunk from her self-esteem, her pitiful sobs did little to soften the hearts of her despicable classmates. Each boy took a stab at shredding her self-confidence and self-worth. Her downcast eyes remained focused on the floor as tears moistened her chubby feet. The mockery and gales of laughter would have to suffice as the only attention sheíd get from the boys at school. The display of malicious behavior saddened me as I witnessed the cruelty of the human heart.
Iíve tried to reach out to her often, but the pain always clouded her vision and prevented her from seeing Me. Iíll never give up on her, for I know exactly how she feels. I know what itís like to not be accepted and I know the feeling of despair. The mockery and laughter that Mindy heard were familiar sounds that rang through my own ears while I hung from the cross on that hill. My human traits knew her loneliness too, especially when I thought My Father had forsaken Me. The sharp tongues of Mindyís classmates sliced through her spirit just like the cold Roman spear pierced my side.
Mindy has had her share of laughter in her life, but itís the kind that can kill a spirit, not nurture it. Hers is a circumstance where laughter is not the best medicine. As far as Mindy is concerned, she has been receiving a harmful dose. The only medicine she needs is the kind I can provide through My never-ending spiritual cure.
As I embrace my precious, injured child, Iíll remain patient as I wait for her to realize Iím there. And, when she does, there will be no more hurtful laughteróonly tears of acceptance and love.