According to me, laughter is one of God’s best gifts.
It’s at the top of the list, close to music.
Isn’t it good to laugh? Especially these days.
I went out for a sunny-cold walk last Saturday, talking to myself, “I’m glad I like my own company because it’s me, myself, and I out here alone again.”
But at the trailhead, coincidentally, I saw two friends. I loved walking with them.
As we were saying goodbye, one gal said she liked the color of my hair.
“It’s very Presbyterian,” she told me with a smirk.
I didn’t catch her explanation why my naturally mousy-gray hair is Presbyterian but I didn’t have to.
It was so random, unexpected; it made me laugh when she said it. I laughed telling Jake, and I am laughing now.
I love how something funny gives repeated joy.
Perusing my old journals, I was reminded of the early morning I was sitting in the waiting room of a maternity clinic in Spain, waiting for a grandchild’s birth. A cleaning lady, bless her heart, was trying to clean the glass on the automatic door. She was going for it with her spray bottle, following the door as it opened and closed, over and over.
Can you picture it? She was impressive, persistent, trying to clean that moving target, scooting to the right, scooting to the left, back and forth with her Windex and her rag.
She did not laugh, but I sure did. And still do.
I remember a time God gave me some laughter to lighten a sad moment and it amuses me every time I think of it.
It was in Spain, too, at the airport, saying goodbye. Daughter #3, her husband, and I were sitting in a kiosk booth having a coffee before my flight. It occurred to me that I didn’t have a photo of us together, so I asked a lady in the waiting area if she would take our picture. This was back in the day I carried a Sony camera.
She agreed, stood about 6’ away, and pointed the camera screen toward us. Then she moved it a little to the left, then up, then angled it down, then she lifted the right side up, then the left, then back straight. For many seconds, she adjusted and circled my camera.
As I watched her maneuvers, my smile became a snicker that became a chuckle that became a hearty laugh. She finally pushed the button and that photo is an all-time favorite: my head is back and my mouth is wide open, totally enjoying the moment.
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Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote, “A good laugh is as good as a prayer sometimes.”
Laughter and prayer — and music, like I said above – are God’s special gifts that He uses to draw our souls to Him.
To encourage us.
To restore us.
These are the days of Lent, when we usually give up something heading to Easter, but because of all the things we have given up this whole year, I am not inclined to follow the normal church tradition.
Instead, I want to add something.
I want to daily look for laughter.
Looking for laughter is looking for God.
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At the ‘preschool’ where I teach (that sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It’s a table on our landing upstairs.), I leaned over my star pupil to help her with something.
“Gramma,” the almost-4 y.o. said seriously, “your breathe makes me feel bad.”
I burst out laughing (poor girl, that blast of breathe must have really hurt.) then I made my way to my toothbrush.
How good is God — to give us the heartening and healing gift of laughter.