Pr 16:24 ¶ Pleasant words are like a honeycomb’,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. ~ Proverbs 16:24(NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
If you’re like me, you’ve stayed with a loved one in the hospital before. And, if you’re like me, you probably felt pretty worn out and rough when you finally got a chance to go home. Well, I’ve had something very unusual happen. After having spent a week with my mom at the Memphis Jewish Home and Rehab, I actually felt better.
The Memphis Jewish Home and Rehab is a wonderful place. If I had to sum it up in a word, I would say that it is salubrious — conducive to wholeness and good health. It seems to me that everything in the Home is aimed at the restoration of health and the promotion of well-being. This is so much the case that its restorative powers even spill over to those who come as visitors.
The hospital is full of windowed walkways that let in the sunlight of Springtime. It has an outdoor courtyard and a meditation garden where many patients sun or stroll each day. Fresh, filtered air is pumped into every room twenty-four-seven, and patients are encouraged to drink plenty of liquids.
All he food (both on the patients’ trays and in the restaurant) is kosher. I ate all my meals there. One day (while dining in the deli on matzo ball soup) I remarked to a rabbi (who was eating a Reuben on swirled rye), “I’m a Christian, and I’m not required to keep the Old Testament dietary laws. But the food is delicious, and it’s healthy. I’m guessing that Jesus (being a Jew) would have eaten everything they serve here.” The aged Jewish teacher replied, “I expect you are right.”
The hospital is large and has big airy halls lined with beautiful artwork. I took time to walk the corridors every day. Just in carrying out my daily routine, I averaged over 6,000 steps.
As nice as the facilities were, the thing that impressed me most was the sweetness of the spirits of the people who worked there. The empathy and concern that shone forth from the staff, nurses, therapists, and even those who worked the front desk was extraordinary. Though they came from various religions and denominations, they seemed to have been hired based on their ability to care. Just being in their presence made me feel better.
My week in Memphis emphasized a truth that’s both simple and profound. If you fill your life with salubrious things (and especially with the influence of salubrious people) you’ll feel better. It’s obvious — but it’s something we often forget. This week, feed your body, mind, soul, and spirit on the healthiest things. Follow your holiest and healthiest habits. And don’t forget to be a salubrious person to somebody else. Everybody will be a winner.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (Until recently he had a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher is trying to get things ready for Bible camp in June.) Their kids include Spencer (age 26), his wife Madeline (age 26), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.