It Is To Laugh

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” – Psalms 126.2

The heat has been oppressive.  The news mostly so.  The pandemic continues and working from the spare bedroom is losing some of its charm.  Since Meri and I both read a good deal for our work, we watch TV to unwind, but since we have a penchant for whodunnits, especially the British variety, our TV viewing isn’t always relaxing.  So we decided that, for the sake of our mental health, we need to be intentional about laughing.  To that end we have begun deliberately mixing comedies into the mysteries and jokes into the day.  For the sake of our souls.  I firmly believe that Jesus loved a good joke and even told a few, though they may have lost something in the translation.  Did you hear the one about the camel trying to squeeze through the eye of the needle?  

A boy asked his dad, “Where did people come from?”  His dad replied, “Well, Adam and Eve had babies, then they grew up and had babies, and so on.”  The boy then asked his mom, “Where did people come from?”  She replied, well, a very long time ago apes and humans broke off from a common ape-like ancestor. Apes went one way, people went the other.”  The boy ran back to his father and said, “You lied!  Mom said humans come from apes!”  The dad calmly replied, “She was talking about her side of the family.”

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” 
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

My friend thinks he’s so smart.  He said that an onion is the only food that can make you cry.  So I hit him with a coconut.

“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” 
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

Two cowboys own a ranch.  One night someone steals their only bull.  They need to buy another bull but they only have $500.  One cowboy says to his buddy, you stay here and mind the cows and I’ll go to the market to see if I can find another bull for under $500.  Well, he finds one for $499.  He goes to the telegraph office to send a telegram to his pal so he’ll bring the trailer to take the bull back to the ranch, but discovers that telegrams cost $1 per word and he only has the one dollar left.  After a lot of thought he tells the telegraph operator to send the word “comfortable.”  “How’s that gonna tell him to bring the trailer?” asks the operator.  “It’ll work,” says the cowboy.  “My partner reads real slow.  He’ll have to sound it out.  Come for ta bull.”

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

In a Catholic school cafeteria, a nun places a note in front of a pile of apples, “Only take one. God is watching.” Further down the line is a pile of cookies. A little boy makes his own note, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples.”

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

A husband and wife were driving through Louisiana. As they approached Natchitoches, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town. They argued back and forth, then they stopped for lunch. At the counter, the husband asked the waitress, “Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce the name of the place where we are very slowly?” She leaned over the counter and said, “Burrr-gerrr Kiiing.”

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” ― Maya Angelou

A boy with a monkey on his shoulder was walking down the road when he passed a policeman who said, “Now, now young lad, I think you had better take that monkey to the zoo.” The next day, the boy was walking down the road with the monkey on his shoulder again, when he passed the same policeman. The policeman said, “Hey there, I thought I told you to take that money to the zoo!” The boy answered, “I did! Today I’m taking him to the movies.”

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” ― Audrey Hepburn

Robert Frost said that if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.  This year, 2020, I think that may be true.  So hold on to your humor, beloved kindred in Christ.  If that goes, you know we’re in trouble.

Pro Gloria Dei,

Pastor Steve

“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.” ― W. H. Auden