By Jo Russell
“Jenny is one sick three-year-old,” commented Nurse Nancy to her coworker at the local hospital. The youngster had had abdominal surgery. The heavy dose of antibiotics left her listless and grouchy.
“She won’t eat, and we’ve been trying,” added Nurse Janet.
“Yep, and we can’t even ply her with goodies.”
But her pediatrician, Dr. David, had to keep Jenny fed in some way, so he had the girl hooked to a feeding tube. She didn’t like it and let everyone know.
Days went by and still the nurses coaxed Jenny to eat. “Ice cream?”
She shook her head.
Nope, not that either.
Jenny put her hands over her face and hollered, “NO!”
Children bounce back, but Jenny didn’t seem to. No sparkle. No joy of life. No smile.
Dr. David was concerned. He had already been by to see the wee patient when his colleague, Dr. Morris, checked the girl. The woman doctor decided on a novel treatment.
Later that day when he checked on her again, Dr. David expected to see a listless Jenny moping in bed in a spotless room. Instead, her heard giggles and found the three-year-old sitting on the floor with a messy cafeteria tray in front of her. Jenny’s smile was outlined in brown, which also had dripped on her gown and sprinkled in a circle around her on the white floor. Jenny had been eating the wet dirt, her own puddin’ pies. It was more fun than at home!
“What is going on?” Dr. David fumed to his nurses. “This is not a medical procedure! Who gave her these mud pies?”
The nurse blushed, “Dr. Morris, sir. She said that Jenny’s intestines have none of the good intestinal bacteria left because of the antibiotics. She told me that if Jenny’s body needed it, the girl would eat the mud.” The nurse paged the woman doctor to explain.
Dr. David and Dr. Morris shared a quizzical look as Jenny finished up her mud pies. Soon, the nurses restored the room and Jenny to order. Time would tell if the oddball treatment worked.
Just a few days later, the girl was glowing with a smile. After she finished all the food on her lunch plate, the little patient demanded, “Ice cream with gummy worms!”
With her defense system back up, Jenny was soon well enough to go home.
Jenny’s defense system was up to a fight with the good bacteria inside the same way that infusing ourselves with the Bible inside of us provides everything needed for inspiration, guidance and defense. God’s words start on the outside, but stay on the inside. They transform the body, mind and soul. Just as the good bacteria helped Jenny fight her way back to health, holding the Bible’s words inside provide a solid defense. Nothing could stop Jenny. Nor can anyone a Bible-infused you.
But some distance themselves from the Bible. Because they don’t read the Bible much, the words of God are faint inside. A few words or phrases are just not enough input in a spiritual life. Just as Jenny’s mud pies restored a balance of immunity and defense to fight for her health with just enough mud, a reader needs to build God’s words up inside as a defense against all types of attacks.
Somewhere in between too much and too little is a balance. Wherever you are, to get closer to God, you need to know Him. To know Him is to read His word, the Bible.
Author Alice Camille wrote “Read the Bible? Me?” for Catholic Digest. She commented, “Don’t we get our multivitamin of Scripture with three readings and a Psalm on Sundays… and do we really have to know more than Father has to say about it all in the homily?” She went on to summarize that “you do get the Biblical multivitamin at Mass, but no one mistakes the multivitamin for the full pleasure and experience of a meal. To consume more than the basic nutrients of Scripture, we must engage these stories more personally and completely. Not because we have to, but because we’re missing something wonderfully good if we don’t.”
Wonderfully good. Not just the adventure, mystery, and thrill, but the stories of faith and miracles all through the Bible. God is there for us. We can find Him anywhere, but we hear from Him in our quiet moments, prayer, and by reading the Bible. We’re not alone. Though God’s defense doesn’t show on the outside like a military parade, it does show in our strength on the inside and faith in Him as our warrior and defender – forever and always.
It’s easy. No need to eat mud pies. Just use the Bible to build up the fighting forces inside you for optimum spiritual health.
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from her website, www.button-to-god.com. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog.]