1. Catholic

Well, you just have to laugh! Don’t you?!

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” — Ecclesiastes 3:4

When my son was around two years old, we were invited to a garden party and, in the centre of our friend’s garden, was a very deep, circular pond. All of the children were cautioned to stay away from it and – I think recognising the inherent wisdom of this advice – obeyed!  My son, however, saw this as a challenge. After several thwarted attempts, eventually, inevitably, he slipped past us and dived straight into the pond. It felt like a very long walk to the car, past smartly dressed party guests, wrestling my soaking wet, green slime – covered son, who was declaring with outrage at the top of his voice, “BUT I WANT TO GO SWIMMING!!!”
As we reached the door a party guest said to us, “Well, you just have to laugh, don’t you?
And we did laugh… eventually!!!

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There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” — Ecclesiastes 3:1

We are living in an extraordinary time; this current situation has turned all of our worlds upside down and has, for many people, meant losing loved ones to this virus. It is a time to mourn and to weep for many.

However, within the darkness and difficulty of the current situation I do think that there is also a time for laughter and we should try to make room for it. Let me explain what I mean by that.

The story of my son’s ‘pond swimming’ is a light-hearted illustration of how laughter can come to our aid in a situation. I have found that a shared sense of humour has benefited me most in my darker moments.
I have a very clear memory of laughing with my family on one of the saddest days of my life. There had been a hiccup with a particular arrangement at my mother’s funeral and we all somehow found ourselves laughing together – perhaps rather hysterically, but laughing none the less. Within the desperate sadness of that situation, it was a moment of release and it helped us cope a little better with all that we had to face that day.

A sense of humour is such a wonderful gift from God and one that’s so important right now.

Laughter can come readily to us in times of joy, but I am most grateful for this gift on the days when laughter is slow to come.

On so many difficult lock-down days, a call from a friend that has started in stressful tones has ended in laughter; we have laughed with the children; and I have laughed with (and sometimes at) my husband.

Sometimes, when faced with adversity, you really do just have to laugh! I thank God for our ability to laugh and, more importantly, for the people in my life that share in that laughter.
In our shared laughter there is release, there is hope and there is the reminder that God can turn all things towards the good, until ultimately, one day, all our sadness will be turned into joy!

 

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