Today, I laughed until I cried.
I laughed so hard, I stopped breathing.
I mean, I ugly laughed. (You know - when your face is helplessly frozen in a humiliatingly ridiculous expression.)
I laughed until I thought I was going to die.
I laughed so violently, my whole life passed before my eyes. That made me laugh even harder.
And it made me realize, for the millionth time, that laughter is one of the "sounds of joyful shouting and salvation" that the Scripture talks about. The devil hates laughter with unholy passion. He'd rather you fear him, give him credit for all the bad things in your life, blame him, anything but laugh in spite of his existence.
Being convulsed in a spit giggle is a sign of great spiritual strength. I'm tired of Christians who have forgotten how to unselfconsciously laugh their behinds off. G.K. Chesterton said, "It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light." He didn't mean your bathroom scales, either. I am telling you, it takes real brains to be funny, and it takes humility to laugh regularly and genuinely and so hard your head feels like it will pop off.
Most are too self absorbed to notice the hilarity that surrounds them on a daily basis. Hey - takes a self absorbed woman to know one. When I'm not laughing, I'm not noticing, either.
Going by the hermaneutical principle of "first mention", it is no mere coincidence that the first time laughter is mentioned in the Bible, it was a Great Woman of the Faith who was cracking up. Giggles are surely a sign of impending Promise and Blessing.
I swear, I tell the Lord all the time, that all I want to do is have some fun. He assures me that that is what He wants for me, more than I want it for myself. Its just that, as I'm having fun, He keeps making me do stuff. I guess if I'm giving my life away hilariously, it doesn't seem so awful. Giving my body to be burned is an actual sacrifice when I am absolutely in love with the life He has given me, and the people He has put in it. So the Lord slips in a good punch line, as I set myself on fire, figuratively speaking, again and again. God is good to me like that. If that messes with you, I am sorry.
The way I see it, laughter, at the appropriate things, at the appropriate and even inappropriate time, is one of the permanent expressions of a saint. Every negative emotion you and I experience is temporary. There will be no sad or mad tears in heaven. No frowns. No furrowed brows or anxious faces.
You may have heard of the Toronto Blessing. I'm not sure what I think of all that laughin' in church, ya'll, but I'm fine with bustin' loose at my own table.
The Knoxville Blessing. I'm so glad I had a visitation today. (and I have my daughter Hannah to thank for it, but that is another story...)
"God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me." (Gen. 21:6)