Pouring Vinegar on an Open Wound

by General Caregiving, Wisdom, Wisdom Podcasts0 comments

A wise person in Proverbs 25:20 says,  “Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.”

That is me.  I tend to sing songs to a heavy heart, and that is like pouring vinegar on soda.

Imagine you are in the hospital feeling miserable and maybe very worried about your future and I rush in with enthusiasm, throw open the drapes and exclaim “What a beautiful day it is!”  I probably also avoid any discussion about your thoughts, struggles and feelings.  I don’t like to talk about unpleasant things.

A wonderful friend at my church had a fun sense of humor, and he often made me and others laugh, but often behind the humor was a little twist to ponder.  For example:  one day he said to my son Michael, “You know, Michael, if a person fell down a flight of stairs, your mother would rush over and say, “My! You did that well!”  Well, we all laughed, but it didn’t take long for his message to penetrate my thoughts.  That is what I do.  I can’t stand for people to be unhappy or sad.  I often rush in with showers of positive thinking.  That is like pouring vinegar on an open wound.

Letty Pogrebin, in her book, How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick, says, “Positive thinking can’t cure Huntington’s disease, ALS or an inoperable brain cancer.  Telling a terminal patient to keep up the fight isn’t just futile, it’s cruel.”

Please do not sing songs to a heavy heart.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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