Things that make me laugh usually have something to do with the sound they make or the connection my brain makes with the idea presented. In some cases I laugh because I am amused by the unusual combination of sounds in a certain word. Yet, in the case of some phrases–especially descriptions of events or idiomatic expressions that seem to have no use other than to confuse–I delight in the images that tickle my senses.
I don’t always crack up because something is so crazy in itself, sometimes–more and more these days, actually–I delight in the things my imagination makes of common occurrences in my day. It’s fun to have a private joke–something that you don’t necessary keep to yourself to deprive others of enjoying a bit of humor with you, but something that would lose its power to divert if it were removed from the soul-environment where it was conceived.
Let me share some examples with you and may joy bubble out of you too!
Words I love:
- Pah-Hoode (or Pahud, as it is listed in the cast compilation from the movie Paul Blart, Mall Cop). I love to say this name to myself. It consists of two syllables I would never put together, but every time I say it my tongue is thankful that someone did.
- Humdinger. I don’t know for sure if I’ve ever spotted a humdinger, but I’m sure it would please me if I did. This isn’t even something I need to understand to enjoy. That’s one of the best things about humor: It can be so innocent, so spontaneous and sweet.
- Knee-slapper. I figure something like a humdinger must be followed by a knee-slap. There’s just no other way to celebrate such a moment of whimsy. I might add that I’m not the only person I know with an affinity for this expression. My comical cousin has gotten a lot of mileage from this expression. Every time I hear her say it, accompanied by a dramatic strike to her knee, I can’t help but smile. I not only like to enjoy things that strike me as funny, I like to be involved in what others enjoy.
- “He blew out his knee”–a terrible thing that I find it difficult to believe actually happens. I plead with you, if you want me to be serious and sensitive to your case of muscular degeneration, be so kind as to use a more neutral expression–I can’t hold in the giggles when I hear this one. While snorting to cover my haw-haws and frowning hard to hide my scandalous facial appreciation, the only regret that comes to me naturally is that I didn’t get the chance to see it. In my mind it is a drama reminiscent of a spectacular Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. (Note to readers, if you want to keep laughing, don’t Google images of this catastrophe.)
- And speaking of Calvin and Hobbes, these cartoons always pull off the lid of guffaws for me. I love when there is a series of his exploits concerning his experience driving out of the garage in his parents car with Hobbes, or the time he rips his pants just as recess is ending and the time for each student to do math problems on the board is, unfortunately, approaching. I am envious of the mental gymnastics he cruises through as he prepares his zany school assignments or dissects the incongruities of life on his way down a steep ravine. He reminds me of myself at times, he softens my heart toward the most annoying person I know at others.
How I love to laugh.
I want to join God in His laughter, realizing that He is the Creator of this gift of mirth as well as a great many of the things that I find so funny. Think about it, could it be that God has been laughing at some of these things for all of eternity past, waiting for us to finally discover them so that we could join Him in His chuckling?
I love that thought. I love knowing that joy comes from God and He is utterly full of it. What better truth could we find for our tired souls that lack inspiration and enjoyment in the life we live? The more we look into God’s joy, the more we find all truth to be wrapped up in this.
God has always known delight. We are the ones who have not. We have moved out of the realm of His delight and tried to create another place where we could have delight alone. It hasn’t worked. Joy is impossible without God. Joy is literally worship of the One who lavishly supplies joy to His children.
The cross, even with all of its sorrow, is filled with joy. It is our invitation to be reunited with the Father’s heart. Christ’s death fully acquainted Him with all the joylessness of our God-less existences. His resurrected life now intersects judgment with mercy. When we receive this life as our own, we are reawakened to joy.
We come to know joy as a Person, One whose essence wells up within us and makes us people who can endure all things because we know that hell has been removed from the roster of our destiny. Punishment has been meted out to our Friend the Savior, and we worship Him without compulsion, but with joy in the victory He shares with us.
Joy shows up in our life every day because of Christ. For some of us, it makes a difference not only in how we feel inside and what we hold dear, but in how we sound and react to life as well. Just laughing shows off what miracles He has done in our lives. The closer we get to God, the more we express our unity with Him.
I was so serious and hurt before, but because of what God’s presence has done in my life, I now need little excuse to laugh. I want to squeeze everything I can out of joy-inducers around me. Another thing is that I use every opportunity to express the joy that is already inside. And I hope when I laugh that I give others joy and remind them that there is a reason to delight in humor even with all that is going wrong in the world. Our hope springs from Christ–so why can’t our humor?