If you or I were prescribed a pill, we should question if it is good for us? If the benefits will outweigh the negative effects? If there are other things, we can do to reduce our need for the medication for a long time, such as exercise or eat healthy?
Over the past six months I keep having an encounter with a certain type of medicine. This medicine is “good”. The benefits supersede any negative effect. In fact, there are NO negative effects. I want to share this medicine with you. It is named Catalan*.
Catalan is a 24-year-old refugee girl. She and her family fled Iraq because of Christian persecution. She works in a tiny one room shop that sells mostly vegetables. Catalan works from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day/ six days a week. Imagine, 12 and ½ hours a day. You might suspect that Catalan is resentful of not being able to go to University, or having to work so many hours, or needing to give her money to her parents and brother. However, that is far from the reality. Catalan exudes JOY! She LOVES her job. She told me, “I do it with all my heart!” Her pay is less than $5 a day.
Catalan is like good medicine. Scripture says, “A joyful heart is good medicine…”. I have been pondering this much lately as I make house visits for Threads of Hope. Catalan is the daughter of one of our ladies who sews for Threads of Hope. Her mother also displays this same joy.
Honestly, living in a foreign land far away from my children and parents tempts me to want to give in to feelings that are far from good. I have discovered in our ten years of living overseas that going out and serving others is the strongest antidote to depression. I find it fascinating that while I am trying to give of myself, the ladies in Threads of Hope supersede my humble investment with their joy, resilience, laughter, love, and stories.
May you, like me, reach for more pills of Catalan. May we learn from those who have found joy. May we reflect on actions we can take to increase our own joy, so that we too can be good medicine to others.
*Catalan is a pseudonym for a precious girl who has fled from so much, but who has not allowed it to take her joy.