My children love to giggle. They find the smallest reasons to laugh. If they can find someone to join in, all the better.
I mean head back heavy laughter.
In the movie, Finding Neverland, the playwright is quite nervous about the crowd’s response to his silly play. Meant to bring laughter and written from experience with real children, the play is not as proper as the audience might expect. So the playwright has an idea. He buys about fifty tickets throughout the theater and invites the local orphanage. They fill the seats dispersed throughout the theater.
As the play begins, silly giggles erupt. First the adults, dressed to the nines, chins high in the air, are quite taken back. Slowly though, they begin to chuckle.
You can’t help but feel the laughter of a child.
For even the most tired of souls, a grin sneaks upon the face in the hearing of a babe’s laugh. We were born to laugh.
My own babe was less than four months old when he taught me about joy. I can remember the smell of his skin. It was midday, and I was rocking him. My husband was in the room, and without any reason or sound or provocation, my son began to laugh. Long deep belly laughs. And from the surprise of it all, we joined him. It sounded so beautiful it was contagious.
In the midst of my depression, the long days of motherhood wrapping round my soul, something broke. I could not stop laughing.
“Even in laughter, the heart may ache…” Prov. 14:13
Even in aching, something can break. Perhaps, sometimes, it is only in the aching that we find the need for a laughter that heals. When chuckles turn into that deep internal shaking we cannot withhold. When we actually feel what internal joy is meant to live within us.
Michelle DeRusha wrote about laughter in the midst of grief recently. My favorite two lines read: “I see now that God’s presence is often experienced more vividly and palpably in these moments when heaven and earth meld. I believe when we feel joy, even as the weight of grief hangs heavy, we experience the nearness of a God who is with us wherever we go.”
Laughter is the internal healing balm. We were pre-wired to heal.
Just as our bodies were given antibodies, our spirits were given laughter. Something about life just tries to steal it. Bind it up. And silence the music of our souls.
Perhaps a child can help us find it again.
“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.” Matt 21:16
To ordain: to officially establish or order.
What did God know about life stealing our joy as we moved along in years? Everything. So he planted joy upon the babes – to lead us in praise.
They are leading us – even now. If only we can stop long enough, breathe deep enough to follow.
Make it a great Wednesday!