“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
― Maya Angelou
I like to laugh. I think God gifts laughter and humour to us, that we might be able to live through those things that are just not funny. Sure there are many days where we face the most dire of situations that are very painful and not at all funny. That said, it is remarkable to me how seeing people who face often the darkest of challenges are able to smile, and even laugh, and relish in that joy – as if it is healing, proving the adage that ‘Laughter is often the best medicine.’
That said, lately I have found people to be a little humourless. Perhaps it’s the current state of the world we live in, perhaps it’s that we are in the cold grip of winter, perhaps the water in the city has gone a little sour, but whatever has laid grip on folks there is a greater severity to peoples moods of late. For a guy who loves to laugh, to joke, to smile – it makes some days a little tough.
I wonder at times if we take ourselves all a little too seriously – especially when it comes to church. I’m not sure at which Synod meeting it was decided that joking at church, or laughing at said jokes, is sacrilegious – but I am of the mind that it is time to amend whatever motion brought on this serious streak we have adopted. Now I want to be clear here that, I am not suggesting that St. Aidan’s is the problem – but it is equally guilty of taking itself too seriously at times. This is a condition that afflicts both lay and cleric alike. It seems the lack of humour can be found in High Church Circles as well as Low Church circles. Evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics, Reformers, Progressives, Universalists….and on it goes…
Of course we might just say – who cares? They don’t know how to laugh – big deal! Well… the big deal is manifest in the fact that the loss of a sense of humour has, at times, resulted in some sour and caustic behavior. Being a bit of a joker, I have been on the receiving end this and it’s often not pretty. So it matters if we can laugh at ourselves. It matters if we can respond to another with joy. It matters because God has granted us communities of faith that are to be welcoming places of joy and generosity. Our humourlessness often leads to judgment rather than a spirit of generosity.
So I guess what I am saying here today is… Lighten up!
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