Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jack, Jesus, and a good belly laugh


I've been a little surprised lately at the really earthy, tangible ways God can reveal parts of Himself.  This post was from the last week of April while I was on vacation- thoughts on God and laughter.  

I sat across from Jack enjoying the morning light and hot coffee when he said something- I don't even know what now- and it got me laughing.  I laughed and laughed until I cried.  He wasn't even trying too hard (if at all) to be funny, but he was and he is and that's life with my husband: frequent and hearty laughter. 

I'm reading Lauren Winner's book Wearing God and so I skip to the chapter on laughter because I'm curious.  Thanks in large part to my hilarious husband, I am well acquainted with smirks and chuckles and laughter of all kinds. 

Winner's thoughts and research are well put together and comprehensive ranging from Abraham and Sarah's Isaac-laughter to the fear envoking way God laughs at his enemies in the Psalms to Jesus' words about those who weep now will laugh later and vice versa.  It was a good and helpful exegesis on finding God in laughter.  Conclusively she purports, "Biblical laughter is not only about God's justice- it is also strongly eschatological; it is about redemption and restoration.  Or, perhaps more accurately, it is the first because it is the second; because biblical laughter is eschatological, because it is about God's redemption and God's final ordering of things, it is definitionally about justice and about mercy, too." 

I think about my four year old and how he told me one day, calmly and cheerfully, "I'm going to skip nap and watch a movie, okay?"  Smiling, it was all decided in his little mind.  I found it hilarious. And maybe God laughs like that, too. 

We just have no idea. 

We think we have it all figured out, that we know best, but in the end only God does.  He will redeem and restore and at the end of the day, maybe that's what's so funny. 

We recently had some plumbing issues at the house that resulted in... sewage... all over the bathroom floor.  Twice.  But Jack, expert tense situation diffuser, gathered up fodder like it was his job and we freaked out and complained but in the end, we laughed.

And maybe that is a good, trusting kind of laugh.  All is not lost.  Our hope is in God who will make all things new and this world is broken and bad and we weep and rightly so but we also laugh because after all, as Winner points out, it's God's comedy and if we trusts him enough we can, like the Proverbs 31 woman, laugh without fear of what's to come. 

So my husband's grin and his jokes can remind me of God's ways and His good plan and how things are going to shake out in the end. I'm so thankful for the good medicine of a hearty laugh compliments of Jack and for the life and hope and mercy that makes the laughs possible. 

I walk on the beach and I see litter and I pick up trash because I had put on Christ and I say to myself, "Humans always ruin everything." I can say it and laugh- I get the joke. 

"Lord, to laugh in the midst of trial and to rejoice in the darkest valley is another way of saying, 'Our hope is in you.'  Fill us with laughter and joy while we work for peace and strive for justice...  Help us to live so foolishly for you that we draw onlookers and those who would deride us.  And while they watch and mock, change all our hearts that we might learn to laugh at the foolishness this world calls normal and run away with the circus that is real life.  Amen."  
-Prayers for December 21 and January 27, Common Prayer:  A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

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