I was talking to a registered nurse the other day about “malapropisms.”
A malapropism is the use of a wrong word in a sentence, often a word that sounds like the word meant to be used. The results are often humorous. For example, I told her about the time a lady told me a church was “cosmetic” when she meant to say “charismatic.” I couldn’t wait to share that one with the Mary Kay saleswomen in my church! Also I recalled the time a child in our church Weekday Ministry referred to me as “the creature” rather than “the preacher.”
The RN said that malapropisms are very common in the medical field. The example most everybody has heard, is referring to Alzheimer’s Disease as “Old Timer’s Disease.” I smiled and replied that I had called it that myself. My nurse friend said, “That’s actually a pretty good term for Alzheimer’s.” But she had many more examples I had never heard:
• a woman who said she wanted her baby boy “circumscribed.”
• a person with gout who said he had “gouch.”
• someone with fibroids who said, “I have fireballs.”
• a woman coming to get a mammogram who said, “I want mine monogrammed.”
I chuckled at each of her stories, but my favorite one was the lady who referred to spinal meningitis as “Smilin’ Mighty Jesus.”
Spinal meningitis is a serious disease; my nephew suffered from it. That’s why it is good to know that we do have a Smiling Mighty Jesus who looks down on our suffering and cares for us in our sicknesses. Nothing makes Jesus smile more than to see us bring our need before him in faith, believing He can heal us and save us. When four friends brought a paralyzed man to Jesus to heal, Jesus smiled upon their faith and He healed the man both of sin and sickness (Mark 2:1-12). As Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
So if you want to see a Smiling Mighty Jesus, pray to Him, believing He can change your life! Even if you use the wrong word, He’ll be pleased with your faith.
Copyright 2008 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. You can read more “Holy Humor” on the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.