Thursday, June 18, 2015

Letting Laughter Live

Years ago in my early teaching days, this plaque possessed a place of prominence on my desk.
I picked it up at my local Hallmark store. I appreciated the carved hewn effect. I liked how the artist had represented the image of Jesus by incorporating important events into his face. My favorite part though was the combination of an eye twinkle and hint of a smile. This was an aspect of Jesus to which I could relate. This facet fascinated me. Years later I so enjoyed reading Eldrige's book about the personality of Jesus.
     While growing up it seemed like I was well acquainted with solemn and serious Jesus. The divine nature of Jesus abounds throughout scripture, but I remained curious about the layer of humanity He had while on Earth. Created in His image I wanted to capitalize on the divine within me. My ears perked at each happening to which I could connect.
    "Jesus wept." (John 11:35) This shortest verse in the Bible is rich with inferential understandings. His sorrow for the pain of Martha and Mary at the death of their brother. The empathy of Jesus mourning the fact humans chose death instead of the Father's plan for eternal life. Life serves up several helpings of sorrow.
     His anger at the temple over the selling and money changers. "Jesus went into the Temple, threw out everyone who was selling and buying in the Temple, and overturned the moneychangers' tables and the chairs of those who sold doves."
(Matthew 21:12 ISV) Righteous indignation for tarnishing what should have been a pure worship experience. Things within the world not as they should be. Sorrow and anger, these are emotions to which I can relate. 
Where is the joy and laughter? Getting lost in a good guffaw is glorious too, right? 
    Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:16 all relay the story of Jesus prioritizing children. "Let the little children come to me. Do not hinder them for to such belong the kingdom of heaven." All three of the synoptic gospel writers relay this event. Loud and clear Jesus is letting the self-important adults know that the little ones get it. The children understand. The kingdom belongs to them. I can relate to the desire of Jesus to spend time with children; the epitome of unabashed spontaneous joy. My children evoke the most joy and laughter from me. 
They purely exist in the moment while still possessing a straightforward philosophical clarity about people and life situations. There is no pretense. Their laughter is contagious. I believe children highlight an important aspect of the divine. The aspect not so mired in the heaviness of the world. Children live the lightness of laughter.
     According to Mayo Clinic in "Stress Relief from Laughter: It's No Joke," laughing provides several short and long term benefits from improved immune system, pain relief, tension alleviation demonstrative in actual physical bodily responses. Sounds like divine design to me. Here's to letting laughter live!

Ecclesiasties 3:4 "
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"


  1. I think there is much that we can learn from children - especially with the way they honestly react to life. I love the sound of giggling babies. Your words touched me when you wrote about your honest reactions to Jesus -- he did teach us that there was a time for all under Heaven. Wishing you a day filled with laughter --

  2. What a wonderful reflection of the human emotions of Jesus. I love the happy photographs you included. Great post!

  3. Those photos you included were so filled with joy and laughter! I never thought (in such depth) about the emotions of Jesus. You've sparked some thinking for me! Great post!!

  4. This is a beautiful reflection. Being human is filled with difficult emotions. Children are our relief and joy. I agree "the little ones get it" ! They are a good deal closer to the divine. Children are "the lightness of laughter."

  5. "Children live the lightness of laughter." That is true so why do adults not do the same? You gave me moments of reflection this morning.