Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
My family likes to laugh. All the time. We have even been caught laughing at what others might deem ‘inappropriate’ moments. I’m not going to get into the details of the nitty gritty of our lives. But I will ask that you trust that we have gone though situations that have ranged from slightly inconvenient, to terrifying, to heartbreaking, and more. And still, we have found ways to laugh. Sometimes even in the middle of these situations.
I’m sure you’ve been in situations where laughter seemed like something you would never experience again in this life time. I have a memory of being in an intensive care room with my grandfather, knowing he would probably die soon. It was a very sad and somber time for my family. But in the middle of it, my grandpa requested that bagpipes be played at his funeral. There was a surprised silence while we all dealt with our own emotions at hearing him say the word ‘funeral.’ Then one of my uncles said, “But Dad, you always said bagpipes sounded like two cats fighting in a tree?” Another startled silence and then we all started laughing so hard we were crying- even my grandpa! The tears were probably partly from all our stored up emotions, but what I remember is a nurse peeking in at us. I think she was wondering if we had all lost our minds. Because who could laugh at such a moment?
“We can laugh because we still have hope.”
Recently, I heard a woman share this sentiment. I almost fell over. It was exactly the line I’d been looking for! Because people really do wonder about the sanity of our family. How we can laugh in those awful situations. And it is because we are not hopeless. We serve a God who is full of love and compassion for us; a God who has promised to wipe away our tears; a restoring God; an all-things-new God; a God who is never ending. He knows our heartache and He is with us. He is with us! We have hope!
I am not belittling anyone’s pain. I am not saying that if you are experiencing something awful, you should just laugh it off. I am saying that you don’t need to give up. You can cling to hope, you can cling to the God who created you. You can rest in His promises. And I hope and pray that you will find something to laugh about. Something that will remind you that you have hope. And the hope we had for my grandpa, knowing that he was dying, was the knowledge that one day we would meet again- in a place where there would be no more tears! (at least no sad tears)
And just one final note. At grandpa’s funeral, when we arrived at the cemetery, there was a lone bagpiper playing Amazing Grace. It was so beautiful and moving, but we couldn’t help it… we all started snickering, because we were all remembering that Grandpa always said bagpipes sounded like two cats fighting in a tree. And if he was watching from heaven, I’m sure he was snickering too (that man was an excellent snickerer).*
Thank you God for laughter! Thank you that you have given us hope after hope, and that we can trust in You. Bless us to be filled with your joy! To love and laugh all our lives though. In Jesus name, Amen!
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
*so if you happened to be at a cemetery and saw a family snickering over a grave as a bagpiper played amazing grace… seriously, what would you think? We really do look like lunatics!