I haven’t posted one of my personal SOAPs from my Proverbs readings lately even though I am still following along with the Proverbs in 31 Days series over at Mom’s Toolbox. I saw this verse in a new light, and thought it so timely for the holiday season.
Scripture: Proverbs 25:20
“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.”Observations:
“Vinegar poured on soda” illustrates a violent and sudden reaction; a burst of bubbling that rises; Vinegar has astringent properties; soda has cleansing properties.
“Taking away a garment on a cold day” illustrates a shock to the senses; the unpeeling of a self-protective layer.
“One who sings songs” illustrates a messenger with good news and positive words.Application:
I’ve always interpreted this passage from a very practical how-not-to-behave perspective. In other words, don’t be an insensitive clod when someone is going through a tough time!
But this time I saw the actions in the passage as merciful and loving instead of clueless and clumsy. After all, heavy heartedness spirals inward on itself if left unchecked, and sometimes it takes a pretty good shock to your senses to shake you out of your drowsy cocoon.
At first it feels uncomfortable – almost irritating – to subject the ache of your heavy burden to His light and positive truth, but it is necessary for healing or to bring things back in balance.Personally speaking, praise & worship songs with lyrics taken directly from scripture whisk me into His presence, and before long I feel that bubbling in my spirit even when troublesome situations remain unchanged. This part of the verse has definite, literal application.
Yet the passage also provides spiritual clues to help us understand the negative reactions of others and to minister to them through positive words and actions.
What about that person who exploded at you the other day? Or that one who seemed unresponsive in their insulated numbness? Did you take offense and write them off? Or did you recognize it as an opportunity to be the one who sings songs to a heavy heart?All around us – especially in the bustle and exaggerated festivity of this commercialized Christmas season – the heavy hearted abound.
Lord, help us to go out watchful, sensitive and prepared with Your song in our heart, willing to risk our own comfort, and ready to serve as Your messengers of hope and healing.
What spoke to you in Proverbs 25?