What Laughter Is

22 Apr

“Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.”  ~ Karl Barth

When I was growing up, Reader’s Digest was a big thing.  I couldn’t wait for the monthly magazine to come to our home.  My mother had encouraged her boys to read as much as possible and the Reader’s Digest, I believed, was a perfect opportunity to practice reading skills.  They had many short features in the digest as well as a very condensed book at the end.  It fed my love of reading.

It also provided an opportunity to laugh.  Humor in Uniform, Life in these United States, and Laughter, the Best Medicine were all regular features that came with quick jokes and/or humorous quips that would have me laughing every month.  I really did agree with the proposition that laughter was the best medicine because any time I might have felt down, I would turn to the jokes and find myself feeling better as I laughed.

Barth posits that “laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Laughter, I believe, helps us come to a point where God can enter our lives.  I have always tried, at very stressful times in people’s lives, to introduce a little laughter.

Getting someone to laugh at a wake service or funeral might sound a bit strange.  However, the proof is in the reception of the humor by those who grieve.  When they have a chance to laugh, they give themselves the opportunity to open up and allow themselves to feel God who is present to them.  I’m not just making this up.  This has been told to me over and over again through the years.

Laughter is medicinal.  Laughter is healing.  Laughter indicates the presence of God.  Let Him touch your heart today and if His touch brings you to smile or laugh, go with it.

FAITH ACTION:  Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.  Doing so will help you hit the reset button on your day.