Laughter and Faith
November 24, 2007
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Our son, his wife, and our grandson are visiting with us a couple of days. Of course Diann and I are having a great time with our six month old grandson, Casey. One of the fun things we do as grandpa and grandma is make Casey smile and then get him to break that smile out into laughter.
While enjoying Casey laugh it occurred to me that we humans are the only creatures, as far as I know, who laugh. I find that to be a curious thought and can’t help but believe it’s tied to our spirituality, our ability to experience the transcendent, the ability to have a relationship with God.
Years ago Christian author Elton Trueblood wrote a book titled The Humor of Christ. The book grew out of an experience of reading one of Jesus’ parables to his children. At one point his child laughed as Trueblood read what Jesus had said. Trueblood realized that there was, indeed, humor in some of Jesus’ stories but that we know them so well they’ve lost the humor from surprise.
In my office I have a charcoal drawing of Christ laughing done by a man here in Toledo. He now volunteers at Toledo Hospital, and I often comment to him how I enjoy his piece of art.
What do you think is the connection between humor and faith? I know, for one thing, that when we can laugh in the face of all that’s wrong in this world we are affirming the fact that evil has not gotten us completely down, that our God is still in ultimate control. Yes, people of faith should find regular reasons to laugh!