Kandi Farris: Don't be a 'tick'

By Kandi Farris

So, my hearing's not so good anymore. It does make life interesting.

One of the ladies at Bible study was sharing a great teaching moment. She's had more than most. Being a young woman and a diabetic amputee with kidney disease requiring dialysis, she has retained her fabulous, sharp wit wrapped in faith.

Melissa shares her wisdom gained through pain and through the joy of applying God's wisdom to living today. She makes us laugh and she makes us think.

On this day we were discussing how important community is to survival. How wonderful it is to have positive, praying encouragers in our lives. It's hard living in this world as a "lone ranger." In fact, it's downright painfully senseless.

We also had been sharing the blessing of being surrounded by people who have great attitudes and great faith, even though their lives may have been tinged with real-life messy stuff. Their upbeat attitude brings us up, inspiring us to look up.

On the opposite side of the coin, it's hard to maintain joy when we are immersed in negative thinking. Our thought life becomes colored by our surroundings and can go down the tubes quickly along with the "downers." We can get the life sucked right out of us if we all we hear is conversation, which tends to drain our joy . . . OK . . . That sets the stage.

Melissa starts telling about this "tech" at dialysis who is sharing about the blood being cleaned and how this process helps renew her body, getting rid of the bad mess and replacing it with new, healthier cells.

Now, I may have heard that particular part wrong as well, but I now know I really heard the "tech" part wrong. I told the ladies, "that'll preach." I went on to say I'd never heard a negative person described like Melissa did in her story. I said, "What a perfect way to describe a negative, joyless person . . . a "tick."

After explaining the precious woman she had been describing in a very positive way was a "tech" I still went with my misconception. This was awesome, a newfound adjective defining a perennially bad-mood person. A tick.

That will preach, regardless. I don't want to be a tick, and I'm sure I've had my "ticky" times, but I sure don't need to make it habit. And it's really hard to constantly be around ol' ticks and not become just like the little bloodsuckers.

They'll suck the life-giving blood out of a good day. Our peace will be drawn out of us and leave us dry. I'm praying for joy to be present and for "life" to fill our conversations. "May the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing to You, Lord." Fill us up with hope and expectation today and help us be mood changers -- for the good.

But my bad hearing did have a take-away: Don't be a "tick," it'll sure make you sick.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, and a speaker on matters of faith and values.