What a wonderful visit we had with Mary Jewell, a beautiful and pleasant lady 100 years of age. A drive to a hilly, rocky, part of Arkansas brought us to her home in a picturesque place of hills with outcroppings of rocks and a 90 acre spread with a big rolling creek rippling right through the middle. It was a fitting setting to encounter such a wonderful lady as Mary Jewell. She had crocheted a wall hanging for us of our last name “Calhoun”, which was sent to us through a friend last year. She said that was the last one she was doing. We wanted to meet her and thank her for the treasured piece of art that hangs front and center in our living room. She is a lady as gracious as her handiwork, as is her son, Dan. Dan lives on the same life-long home place in a separate house, but he is right there within a minute to help take care of anything she might need. Superb hospitality provided a very memorable visit with two unforgettable people. In fact, with Dan’s blessing we picked up three unique rocks from the creek bed to be kept as a memorial of our visit with Mary Jewell and Dan. We asked of Mary Jewell the secret for her longevity. Her reply was “laugh a lot”. She was well practiced in that exercise, as she so easily broke out into a gentle laughter. I came away from the visit with the phrase in my mind of “serenity of soul”. They are people who are not ashamed of their faith in the Lord, and through the bumps and even the dire events of life, they choose to see the bright side of things.
The Bible says you will keep the Lord in perfect peace as you keep your mind “stayed” on him, through your trust of him. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Isaiah 26:3,4). It also says a merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones (Proverbs 17:22). Life can throw us twists and turns leaving us maimed and broken. In the midst of it all if we will get our mind and our very being to “stay” on the Lord, or give ourselves to learn all we can of him and his ways and his word, we will derive strength for the battle. Our setting in life might be a war zone of strife and stress, the opposite of the setting described above. That is all the much more reason to keep one’s mind “stayed” on the Lord and his ways and his word. We will choose to either voice the negative, which, “dries the bones”, or, we will engage in the “medicine” of trusting the Lord unto voicing praise, humor, and thanksgiving for God’s help and goodness in the midst of the chaos. People who trust God can have serenity of soul.