Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather
or pouring vinegar in a wound.
Proverbs 25:20 (NLT)
I grew up with John Cusack‘s teen angst comedy Better Off Dead. It was a cult classic back in the day. The film is about the travails of Cusack’s character, Lane, whose girlfriend dumps him for the captain of the Ski team. Lane goes into a deep depression and the results are extremely comical.
There’s one great scene that flashed in my head this morning when I read the proverb above from today’s chapter. The day after getting dumped, Lane gets in his parent’s station wagon to drive to school. Of course, on the radio he immediately hears Neil Sedaka singing the chipper tune Breaking Up is Hard to Do. He switches the station again and again, but every song is a frustratingly inappropriate reminder of getting dumped. The scene cuts to an exterior shot of the car as Lane chucks the car’s radio, which has clearly been ripped from the dashboard, out the window.
Comedies tickle our funny bone by creating situations to which we can all relate. No one wants to hear Neal Sedaka’s eternally cheery voice, with doo-wop girls behind him, reminding you that you just got dumped. You want to hear a Lead Belly or B.B. King wailing out the blues. You want to hear a good angry thrashing song to scream out your pain and frustration.
To King Solomon’s point, a friend is someone who is going to empathize with you in your time of need. When you’re walking through a deep, dark valley in life, a friend will recognize where you are and will join you there so they can be your companion as you make your way out of it.
Today, I’m thankful for great friends who knew not to play cheerful songs when my heart was heavy. I hope I have, and will be, an empathetic friend to my companions in their own times of need.