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Straight Face

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”  Prov. 17:22


here are three theories about what makes us laugh.  There is the superiority theory suggested by Plato, the incongruity theory, and the relief theory suggested by Freud.  Laughter is a mystery.  Laughter is an emotional and psychological reflex that God has downloaded with our original software.  Animals don’t laugh.  They might screech, or yelp or even jump up and down in their cage while they stick their tongue out at us, but they can’t appreciate a good joke like we can.  “A priest and a rabbi go fishing ………(already we are amused), a monkey will not get it.  God made us with the ability to laugh.  Laughter, (a merry heart) is good medicine.  I am not sure why religious people are so grumpy, especially the extremists.  I am also not sure if God finds them amusing or not; I don’t.  Sour saints don’t belong in heaven.  They would ruin the neighborhood. 

 What is it about those huge clown shoes that makes children laugh?  What is it about the Coyote trying to drop an anvil on a roadrunner’s head that puts us in “stitches.”  Perhaps it is the stupidity of Coyote matched with the unaware detachment of a little bird-brain, who knows. 

 The word “humorous” comes from the Latin word “humid,” which means “moist.”  Some people are too dry.  There is just something wonderful and therapeutic about laughing until we cry.  Perhaps humor is some sort of parallel universe to one of heart-ache into which  we occasionally cross, and then not often enough.

 Life is no joke.  Life is serious. There are many things that are “no laughing matter.” But life is also balanced.  All sun a desert makes, and all rain would drown us all.  He who is “always fooling around,” is a fool, and that’s not funny.  Having said all that, I think God made us with the ability to laugh for a reason.  Every Abraham needs his Isaac.  We should pray every day and brush out teeth every day.  We should also laugh every day. 

 All this brings me to the question of whether or not God ever laughs.  I don’t mean getting the last laugh kind of laughter, I mean the humorous variety, the belly laugh variety, or the tears rolling down the cheek variety.  This kind of talk is enough to make a Pharisee furious.  How dare you think such thoughts about God.  I cannot help it.  I cannot think that the God who designed the sense of smell, never experienced the pleasure of smelling a rose or a lilac, or the God who designed the mechanics of the inner ear never heard, felt and enjoyed the rhapsody of the Hallelujah Chorus. It is equally inconceivable to me, that the God who can see everything, could see what I see in my mirror every morning and not laugh out loud.