A wise person once said, “Humor can be found in every situation.” Not so, I thought. Some things are absolutely unfunny. Death, for one. And did you ever hear anyone break the solemn silence during the reading of God’s Word with a hearty haw-he-haw?
But God does have a funny bone. There is humor in the Bible. Usually we miss the joke, because we take the Word of God so seriously. As we should. But taking it seriously doesn’t mean we can’t laugh.
Visualize, for example, the Pharisees — pompous know-it-alls who want to impress everyone with their “superior” knowledge. Imagine their horror when they discover that a lowly Nazarean carpenter knows more than they do. The last thing they want is for people to think they agree with Jesus. So they bombard Jesus with questions to prove his “inferiority” and Jesus replies, “What? Don’t tell me you want to become my disciples, too!”
More than a few of them probably tripped over their robes trying to get out of that one.
And then there’s the one about Lazarus. The man’s been dead four days. No wonder Martha gasped when Jesus ordered the tomb stone to be rolled away. “But it will stink!” she exclaimed. And this bright comment came right after she told Jesus it’s never too late for a miracle. I bet she and Jesus laughed about that later.
Have you recognized the friendly laughter of Jesus in your marriage and family life? Back in the late 1980s, when my kids were little, I wrote a humor column about family life for the weekly Catholic newspaper of my diocese using stories from my own home. Family life is full of situations from which we can learn spiritual lessons with a sense of divine humor, so I’ve dug up these old stories to share on this blog beginning with the next post. Even if you don’t have young children, you’ll enjoy the stories and you’ll probably pick up a spiritual lesson while you’re chuckling.
Take, for another example, the day our dog died. My husband, our two children and I cried as we said our final good-byes to our dear friend. Our sorrow was so deep that after we loaded the dog’s failing body into the car for that final trip to the vet, we embraced each other in a group hug.
The dog looked at us, dumbfounded, no doubt wondering what we were doing. Never before had the four of us — all at the same time, all on the same three square inches of floor — chorused a song of boo-hoos.
Suddenly seeing us through the dog’s eyes, I had to laugh. Even in the midst of this absolutely unfunny situation, I had to laugh. God was showing me, in the dog’s eyes, the love that never dies.
Reflection question for family discussion:
What was a recent situation that made you laugh — not at someone else’s expense like a demeaning joke, but with the divine joy that comes from God?
Dear Lord Jesus, lift up our spirits when we feel down or angry. Help us to pause long enough, in everything that happens, to see life through Your eyes and find the humor that comes from Your divine perspective. Show us that we can laugh at our problems, because You are bigger than the biggest troubles, and You love us, and this is all that really matters.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries