Laughter as evidence
If you've been around here (or been around me) for any length of time, you know that laughter is one of my very favorite things. There is something really, really genuine about it. You cannot fake a good laugh. But you also cannot suppress it. It's ever-so-slightly out of our conscious control, which gives it a power beyond words. It is an expression of something deeper, a communication of something stronger. It is evidence of emotion and life and depth that can be known and shared but never explained. I think that God has a really good sense of humor. I think He's funny. I think He laughs. I think our laughter makes Him laugh. Because He gives us joy. And sometimes the more melancholy of us like to talk about how joy is deeper than happiness, how joy can be present even in pain, can be that staying power in the suffering. But I'm not talking about that kind of joy today.
Because He also gives us delight!
And laughter is evidence of joyful delight all filled up and flowing over.
It's evidence that we're still alive. That life still bubbles beneath whatever the surface shows. That we are safe. And secure. And honest.
I just watched a TV show, where a women gets really, really awful news about her husband. And she stands stoic until the sobs start to shake her frame, and then she crumbles. Crying lets something loose in us when we've squared our shoulders to ward off the pain. I think laughter does the same thing when we've squelched delight. I'm not sure why we do that--why we start to act like we're unaffected by joy. Maybe to seem older. Or more important. Or more refined.
But I start to realize I've done that--have squelched delight-- when I start to feel a tight spot in my chest that only laughter will release. And when I ask, the Lord makes me laugh again. Usually with people and every once in a while all by myself.
In case you need a little laughter in your day, here are some recent things that I've found funny.
Bitmoji's. Yall. Do you have this app? It has provided hours of entertainment. You get to make a little person that looks like you. And then you get to select from about a gazillion snarky and snappy comebacks. It's pretty amazing.
Along those lines, you know emoticons? Those little smiley faces? Yeah. One afternoon a few months back my friends and I started texting ourselves selfies of our own impressions of them. I'm telling you--laughter need not be complicated.
For those of you who need a legend to decode these antics:
And I can't adequately describe the amount of laughter that ensued the day Lindsee and I took a road trip to the safari park. This small glimpse is the best I can do. I still laugh every time I see it. I'm not sure there were ever two people at a safari park who loved animals less. And we were not brave.
Laughter, it turns out, is also a great way to express fear.
It was pretty much that. For 1.5 hours. We did get a little braver. Imperceptibly so. But braver nonetheless. You probably can't tell that by the following picture:
As we've so clearly established, I really am not an animal person. But I love my animals. I have this little dog who is God's greatest joke to me. I bought her in college because she was "so soft"--and then at about twelve weeks, she sprouted wiry little hairs. And now my dad refers to her affectionately as the "brillo pad." It's pretty accurate. But she's funny. And she doesn't like to get up in the morning. And it always makes me laugh.
She has strong opinions about everything. And she's not afraid to express them.
That brings this episode of life and laughter to a close. Hope it made you laugh at least a little! And wherever you find yourself this weekend, I hope you let yourself laugh. And I hope that it releases something deep within you that lets you feel everything just a little bit more deeply. It's worth it. We've just got this one life.
What makes you laugh the hardest? Do tell!