Dr. Caroline Geisel of the Kellogg Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan tells the following story:
“There came to the building where we lived and worked the cutest little pup I ever saw. We all fell in love with him. He was so anxious to show us his appreciation of our affection that he wagged his tail with such enthusiasm that his whole body wagged along with it. He was the happiest pup I ever saw. We took him into the operating room, gave him an anesthetic, and probed the bone in one of his rear legs. The marrow was a beautiful pink, filled with red corpuscles. We carefully bound up the wound, and it healed almost overnight.
Then we passed the word around that no one was to smile at the pup or speak in a kind tone of voice for six weeks. We fed him as always, but nobody petted him or showed any affection. The poor little pup just wilted. He became the most forlorn little dog I ever saw. He crept into the dark corners, and his tail dragged the ground. We took him back to the operating room and examined the marrow in the same bone. It was a dark brownish color, and the red corupscles were very scarce. It took the wound a long time to heal, despite the fact that we showered all of our pent-up affection on the little puppy. He responded very slowly to our overtunes, and it took a long, long time to get him to wag his tail again. When his enthusiasm was finally restored, we took him again to the operating room and found the marrow in the bone was pink and beautiful again.”
If you want some Bible passages to go along with this story, here are a few from the book of Proverbs (all from the N.K.J.V.):
Proverbs 10:11: The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
Proverbs 12:18: There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.
Proverbs 15:4: A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
And so, as you deal with others today, remember these verses and the story of the puppy. Show kindness and speak words of encouragement, peace, and health. Leave a room brighter than you found it. You just never know what effect you are having on someone’s marrow.