I hope that Joe understands, because, sometimes, to live with us, he has to watch Doug and me acting a little, well, goofy.
We tease and make puns and throw ourselves into various comical personas, all designed to give each other a few laughs in the ways we know will be appreciated by the other. We recollect innocent witticisms that Winston, our three-year-old grandson, has sprung on us. We pretend to misunderstand something said, or we capitalize on unsettling events in the news, sometimes at the expense, of others, I’m afraid. We toss movie or book lines back and forth to each other, especially those of Dickens, Austen, or Lewis, but also from Babe or What About Bob? for our less bookish fare. We feign offense with each other, or we twist the meaning of a comment, then laugh aloud, tickled by our own attempts at humor.
And when a day has left us exhausted and real cleverness lies beyond the grasp of our mental energy, we willingly settle for just plain slapstick.
By humor, actually, the Lord conveys much grace to our lives, even while, at times, it may appear somewhat dorky. We like it.
And we understand it to be a way that we can comfort each other midst the disappointments and setbacks of the day, setbacks in ministry or discipleship or care with Peter, those hardships which often no one else knows about, struggles of which others are blissfully unaware. Some sorrows dwell in secret.
To watch us carrying on, do our friends realize that, “even in laughter, the heart may ache”? (Proverbs 14:13)
Yet Solomon’s wisdom also assures us that laughter cures the heart of many ills. It would be a shame not to employ it. And as in true comic literature, like works from some of our above favorites, we hope it’s an indication of character growth and redemption.
Can we pick up on the aches underneath the laughter in others? We’d be selfish clods not to listen for the deeper meaning behind the dialogue. For the Lord comforts us in our afflictions, so that we can look for the occasion to comfort others. (2 Corinthians 1)