We Laughed So Hard
On Tuesday morning I woke and it was one of those days that I got up on the wrong side of the bed. It was raining out. AGAIN! The effects of the last couple of months seemed to be taking root in my being and the very air I breathed felt heavy. But, I knew I had to face the day and there were things that needed to be done.
At about 8:20 a ding on my phone indicated that someone had texted me. I opened it up and there was a check in note from a friend in the community who had been thinking about me and wanted to just let me know. This is a person who entered my life a while ago when she reached out to me to walk with her through some of her own struggles. Since then we have met for coffee a couple of times and a bond of friendship began to form. When COVID19 sent us into a tailspin she decided that she would be my support person. And it has been amazing. Mostly it is a text regularly to make sure that I am taking care of myself – getting enough rest, spiritual renewal and exercise. Tuesday was one of those days and it was one of the things that I really needed at that moment. (I add that on this day it was not just a text but also the delivery of a beautiful plant and a note)
Then I came into the office and waiting for me in the mail was a note from a member of the congregation and a gift saying thank you for the ministry that I was doing. Another shot of goodness into the heaviness of my day and I could feel things begin to lighten. They say that things come in threes and this was no different. The third thing that happened was a video chat and for the third time in about 3 hours, it was just what I needed!
The Importance of Laughter in Difficult Times
I really want to talk to you about the video chat because it highlighted for me the importance of laughter in the midst of these difficult times. Since isolation became part of our routine I have been connecting with a group of friends on messenger who I have named “friends For Good Mental Health”. Every Tuesday morning we meet in a chat room and we re-calibrate for the week ahead. These chats have been opportunities to share our fears and grief, to brainstorm skills that will help us cope and to remind one another that we are not alone. On Tuesday as we gathered we were all in that same head space of feeling heavy in our thoughts and spirits. We spent the first part of our time together naming that and just sharing.
Then it happened!!
One of our group discovered the effects button on their electronic devise that enables you to create some pretty bizarre pictures. Of course we all had to try it and then I started taking pictures.
We laughed so hard!!
In the midst of that I could feel a release of the tension and the heaviness and the space around me felt lighter. When we signed off I found myself singing
“Give to us laughter, O Source of our Life. Laughter can banish so much of our strife.”
The idea of laughter being such an integral part of our life and the necessity of it for navigating reality is often forgotten. On Tuesday I was reminded of this and was filled with gratitude for those who are able to laugh with and for me even in the midst of deep grief and pain. Today I pray that you will be able to find those moments that bring a smile to your face but more than that – the deep laughter that bubbles up and over and cleanses the spirit.
Give to us laughter, O Source of our life.
Laughter can banish so much of our strife.
Laughter and love give us wholeness and health.
Laughter and love are the coin of true wealth.
Give to us laughter as sign of deep joy;
let us in laughing find Christian employ,
joining with stars and with bright northern lights,
laughing and praising and sharing delights.
Why do we worry that we will lose face?
Why act like king for the whole human race?
Often in family, and often with friend,
laughing at pride causes anguish to end.
Even in sorrow and hours of grief,
laughter with tears brings most healing relief.
God, give us laughter, and God, give us peace,
joys of your presence among us increase.
By Walter Farquharson
© 2020 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved.