The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the bones.
This proverb gives two practices that make for good health. The first is a cheerful look. We speak of the “gleam in the eye.” It is the look that expresses happiness, approval, love, fun. It is the look of approval that the young student hopes for in the teacher as she looks over his essay, or that the child hopes for in his parents eyes as they read the card he made. It is the loving look a couple gives to one another that assures each other of secure love. It is that brightening of the eyes of your friend or loved one, because you came into sight. Or perhaps it is the look of forgiveness and reconciliation after a period of tension. Cheerful looks bright eyes produce good effects on the heart.
For the bones, good news is very helpful. What is the “good news”? Like the look, it can be many things. Perhaps it is the long-awaited letter from a loved one; perhaps the good news of being accepted to college, or getting the job offer, or having ones proposal for an idea accepted. It may be the good news that the cancer is gone or that ones team won the championship. Whatever it is, good news has a powerful way of removing stress and making us feel better.
The simple, yet profound principle is that joy is a powerful, if not the most powerful, ingredient to a healthful life. Joyful people tend to live longer and healthier while being productive than gloomy people do. The “cheerful look” and the “good news” are not trivial forms of entertainment; they are not devices to blind us and deafen us from sad and bad realities. They are, rather, the nurturing elements that sustain us through the sufferings of this world. The best of men and women who have devoted themselves to working for justice and ministering to the suffering need the cheerful looks and good news from others to keep them going. The child, in order to become an adult who can persevere through trials, must along the way be nurtured with bright eyes and encouraging words. Just as a healthy plant must have a measure of light and water to be durable and fruitful, so a person needs a measure of cheerful expressions and good news.
Perhaps you will be the nourishing vitamin today in someones life with the light of your eyes and the good news of your tongue.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org