You know those people that have a laugh that makes others smile and laugh? I know you do. These are special people. I have a few in my life.
With those people, I have been known to think up jokes before hand and then try the surprise attack on them in a conversation. It’s kind of like a joke ninja move. It works. People laugh. I laugh. We all feel better.
I happen to also be married to one of those people with the good gift of infectious laughter. When my wife gets going, I mean, really gets to laughing, there is little that you can do to stop it. It is like a laughing tornado; you will get caught up and taken away to laughter land.
This happened last night as we went out as a family to watch Gulliver’s Travels. Jack Black is funny as advertised. This movie did not dissapoint.
What was interesting was how our 18 month-old little girl responded–not to the movie, but to her Momma. In one scene Jack Black is being tortured by a giant little girl. He was dressed up in baby doll clothes and is being forced to do things he does not want to. At this point my wife is dying with laughter. She is hitting me, kicking me, hardly breathing, and just managing to make a sound that is as funny as it is captivating. And our little girl is just locked in with this grin. She is smiling at her Mom as she laughs hysterically. She has no clue what is so funny, but she is laughing. (by the way, the other people in the theater also joined in with laughter. Their laughter was prolonged and I have a hunch that Mrs Raymond is to blame/credit for it.)
This reaction by our little one got me thinking as I was smiling. Laughter is such a good gift from God. When we are laughing we are carefree. We have momentarily escaped from the felt reality of this cursed world. We are transported to a place where we can honestly and heartedly…be happy. We do it without regard. We laugh out loud. We don’t care who hears us, we are laughing! What a blessed escape from life this is.
This is why I think it is important to have people around you who are funny. You need people who can make you laugh. This is especially true for pastors. I have a guy that I will text or call and say, “bring the levity.” He does not disappoint; he’s a funny cat. You obviously have to balance this out or you’ll be a joke and never take anything seriously; life is not a Calvin and Hobbes comic book. You get the point.
I’m praising God for the renewed realization of the gift of laughter. God is good to give us this gift in the midst of a broken world. These bursts of laughter are a reminder of a day and kingdom coming where happiness prevails. There will be laughter and singing there. There will be no more mourning or sadness. Laughter will not be an escape from that place but a trademark of it. God’s people will be happy. Until then, I praise him for the common grace of funny people and good gut laughs.