Laughter is a form of release, a kind of surrender to the moment. It is, when sincere, truly opening yourself to the joy of right now, almost a form of unconscious thanksgiving.
I want to laugh.
Tomorrow is a crazy, uncontrolled thing. Scary at times, uncertain, wild as wind.
I want to laugh.
But I can’t quite decide what kind of laugh I want. Some laughs are overdone, annoying. Some aren’t even worth the breath used, as dry and mirthless as a frown.
I want a laugh that is alive, brimming over with joy and faith in the God who holds not only my history and moments, but the history yet to be written, and the moments yet to be born.
I want to laugh, because I believe that in and beyond all the weary frustrations and holy moments there is a wild, sacred joy that lays just beyond my stretching fingers. I brush the fringes, the outskirts of the Uncontainable. The shivers run up my fingers–hot, cold, jolting–like an electric current, like a sea of blue ice.
A laugh can be a prayer, a fountain bubbling up.
A laugh can be forgiveness, soothing over a fault with love, the healing of a joyful spirit. Laughing at ourselves, knowing when to be serious and knowing when it is good to just see the humor in our constant relational contortions.
A laugh can be faith, a kind of looking toward the dawn that is sure to come…but is not quite yet seen.
Strong, brave, joyous is the woman who can lift up her face to the road ahead and truly laugh.
“She laughs at the days to come…”
– Proverbs 31:25 –
Is there a “Christian” laugh?
I think so.
The laugh of faith.
The Christian laughs at this life where condemnation is the only expected reward and yet we get…grace.
Grace! For us, the rebels who ran. Grace, because God came to us.
Laughter of boundless joy, of faith in a God of impossibilities, was a familiar thing to Abraham:
“The laughter of Abraham and Sarah at the angel’s extraordinary announcement does not eliminate the darkness, because through the long, childless years of the past, darkness has already taken its toll, and in the long years that lie ahead there will be darkness for them still as, for instance, when Abraham is asked to take the child of the promise and offer him to God as a burnt offering. They both still have to face the darkness both of death and of life in a world where God is seen at best only from afar, through a glass darkly; but with their laughter something new breaks into their darkness, something so unexpected and preposterous and glad they can only laugh at it in astonishment….It all happened not of necessity not inevitably, but gratuitously, freely, hilariously. And what was astonishing, gratuitous, hilarious was, of course, the grace of God.”
– Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth, pages 56, 57, emphasis mine –
This grace of God is what secures our tomorrow. This grace of God is why we can laugh the laugh of faith.
Abraham’s laugh was smack in the middle of a long journey to an unknown land. The apostle Paul sang in a cell. Jesus rejoiced between planning ministry trips, condemning the hardness of Israel’s heart, and debating with lawyers (Luke 10:21-22).
Laughter is not about reaching the end of the journey, getting out of the prison, escaping from the crowds.
Laughter is about faith in a God of grace, who has a glorious plan–not only for this day, but also for the days to come.
Lift up your faces to the dawn and laugh–He holds the Future!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:4-7, NKJV –