Desert Nuns

Laughter is the Best Medicine

June 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Nun News Blog, Year of Mercy

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly. -GK Chesterton

bikesEver since I was a little girl (and my brother freed me from those cumbersome training wheels) I have always loved a nice long bike ride – the peace, quiet, wind in my hair (or now in my veil!) and the open road.

I was probably about 8 years old when my parents gave me the green light to ride alone beyond the end of our country road.  Now I could ride all the way to the stop sign by myself!  No sooner had I gotten this permission than I got into something of a tangle.  Yes, on one such ride, my shoe laces got all caught up in the pedal and I had a nasty wreck into the ditch on the side of the road. I tried in vain to untangle my laces, but it was hopeless! So, with tears running down my face and a bloodied knee, I started the long walk home, literally dragging my bike behind me (attached as it was to my shoe!).

From the stop sign, past about 6 houses, up the hill…I was closer to home now…the thought of it propelled me! The whole way home I prepared a dramatic account of my woeful wreck…ah, I knew mom would be there to comfort me, clean and bandage my skinned knee, and wipe away my tears!

Around the bend I trudged, dragging my bike behind me. By this time I was just one house away from home, and a good thing! – my bike was getting heavier by the minute and I really didn’t think I could go another step.  Tears flowed from eyes, as I thought of my beautiful red & white Huffy all full of scratches now.  Like me, these were her first (but not last) battle wounds.

Finally, my brother and cousin saw me and came running. I told them the whole dramatic tale in painful detail!  When I got to the end of the story, out of breath and tears still streaming from my eyes, my older (and wiser!) brother just stood there looking puzzled: “Why didn’t you just take off your shoe?”

He let a little smile creep onto his face, testing the waters before he and my cousin broke out in a full belly laugh. “Take off my shoe!?” The thought had never even occurred to me…“Take off my shoe!?”  You mean I dragged that bike the whole way home without the thought of it even occurring to me?!?  I remember looking at my brother whose eyes were sparkling with an amused disbelief…and there and then I made the difficult decision to laugh at myself!  By the time mom saw us, I had taken off my shoe and my brother wheeled both shoe and bike the rest of the way home, as we all laughed heartily!

I guess that little bike faux-pas could have ruined my love for bike rides for good…but thankfully it didn’t!  Rather, it taught me the invaluable lesson that sometimes the best remedy for a skinned knee and a scratched bike is a good laugh!  When I am tempted to take myself too seriously (and often I am!), I think of that long teary and wearying walk home, that perplexed/amused look on my brother’s face, and that belly laugh that has never known an equal!  St Ignatius was spot on when he said: “Laugh and grow strong.”

“Man laughs because he has a soul.  Hence, the more spiritual a person is, the more enjoyment there is in life. In this sense, humor is closely related to faith; it bids us not to take anything too seriously.” -Archbishop Fulton J SheenP1150746

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5 Responses to “Laughter is the Best Medicine”
  1. Karen Aramanda` says:

    That is deliciously brilliant!! Oh, the joy of the Lord IS my strength!! Whoa, ha, ha, I absolutely love it! You Sisters are the best! We need to love ourselves in a balanced way, and you do and teach others to do the same with humility.

  2. Bruce Beisel says:

    Sister Mary,
    I just read your story out loud to my wife and we both broke out in laughter!
    Thank you for sharing. Is the donkey still at the corner?
    The desert nuns are my rock stars!
    God bless and protect you
    Bruce Beisel

  3. Peggy Beach says:

    Well Sister after reading your blog I went for a bike ride and found myself checking my shoestrings! As your mother, I feel neglectful that I never taught you to double tie your shoestring. I thank God for the love and laughter in our home and the two beautiful children that provided it!

  4. Teri Unis says:

    Loved this story and can relate to the joy of riding our bikes as kids. The thought that came to me, was so often we drag our heavy load behind us, when really all we had to do was remove our shoe…releasing our burdens to Him….Every Great, Good God’s Blessings to you…

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