I love a good joke. I love sitting around with friends, telling jokes, and getting those laughs that leave us all breathless and crying. I love the way it makes me feel, the way it gives me release from my troubles, the way it can ease my mind for the briefest of moments. I think God knew that this world was going to be difficult and challenging, and our Creator made sure to give us a little something to ease the difficulties.
The truth is that I sometimes forget how precious a laugh can be and how long it can last in my memory. Late nights with friends here in seminary, sitting in the grass, ping-ponging jokes to one another. Christmas nights around the family table, watching my dad and sister-in-law take something small to exaggerated proportions and ending in laughter-tears. Family dinners at Grimo’s, my grandma laughing as my brother and I try to pronounce the Italian dishes. Standing in line at the grocery store and having a good laugh with a stranger about the scandalous cover of People magazine. These small moments have had lasting impressions on me, and have shown me just how valuable this gift is for me…for us.
Maybe I’ve been wearing rose colored glasses, but I always hoped that this world would be a better, kinder, more loving place…with a lot of laughs along the way. But when I turn on the news or scroll through social media, I see more vitriol than I can take. This world is so chaotic – I see and hear more arguments than I ever thought I’d witness in my lifetime.
It’s difficult to find moments where we can laugh, and I think too often we skip over the small moments when we should laugh. I think we’re so stuck in our arguments, so stuck in our minds, so stuck in our positions that we don’t see those moments. If we’re going to make it in this world, we need to laugh. We need to find those funny moments and ride them out together.
May God give us opportunities to have moments of aching bellies, teary-eyes, and loss of breath filled with laughter. May we take the time to laugh, to enjoy this gift we’ve been given, and to make spaces for more laughter in our lives.
much love. sheth.