Fighting off gloom to get a laugh

Some days, and some seasons in our lives, laughter just isn’t funny. At times we feel like it should be banished from the earth. Why should anyone laugh when we cannot? we ask. Humor can seem like a cruel joke, not a balm to the soul. If this is the case for you today, I pray that you may find some hope in these thoughts that don’t exclude pain from heart-lifting ruminations.

First I’ll start with some book titles that I can’t help enjoying when I read them–even though they don’t make for the most pleasant samples around:

My favorites come from Barbara Johnson who writes about the pain of broken dreams from candid experiences of desperation and hope. As I read her stuff I am reminded to praise God that He never dabbles in wishy-washy hope and pipe dreams, but always gives us the real thing in personal portions. The titles are…

I’m So Glad You Told Me…What I Didn’t Wanna Hear and

Mama, Get the Hammer! There’s A Fly on Papa’s Head! (I have a secret delight in fantasizing about the fun this one would be–not so much to read–but to put to the test in real life!)

Another one I enjoy–though can’t bring myself to read–is a work I found in the early days of my reading career. It was haply called: And You Give Me a Pain, Elaine! To say that I resented the premise of the book is an understatement. There is no way the un-abidable character in the story shared my name! (It became a matter of survival to make sure that my brothers didn’t find the book and use it’s cancerous message against me!)

[Check these titles out for their literary benefits at and]

Second, what if we talk about some bizarre inventions that were meant to make our lives easier, but seem to have failed in doing the trick? My favorites are

a wish-bone shaped tube that would enable its smoker-users to puff away at the same cigarette simultaneously (oh, what a fun date idea! I’m surprised it’s not still in use.)

a baby-carrier that straps across the chest and around the back of both parents for ease in transporting junior while mom and dad race around the ice rink together (Wow! Doesn’t that sound like a fun ride! Can you think of one safety regulation that it would pass if it were put back on the market today?!)

a pair of glasses that niftily come with blinds already attached (they seem to have omitted the string for closing them at night.)

[Thanks to ( for featuring pictures of these odd contraptions that add nothing but laughter (and perhaps a bit of dysfunction to their original users) laughter to our lives.]

Third, has anyone tried the new non-permanent tattoo socks? I don’t know how popular they are, but depending how much you need a laugh right now, they could work with great aunts and stern folks whose reactions would be worth the loss of “proper” reputation you had with them.

[If you’re interested, check out this link to get your imagination going and your wallet spilling:

Well, that’s all I have for today. It’s been difficult keeping up on these weekly bursts of humor–especially since the day I need to write them always seems to fall on my most stress-filled and depression-inducing days. I sit there thinking, It’s taking all of my energy to just keep a semi-optimistic and hope-filled attitude, but really trying to be funny is just taking things too far.

But, though I don’t look forward to trying to be a comedienne, my lack of inspiration is actually a help. Being forced to look for the funny in life helps to shift my perspective from problems and tasks that seem all encompassing to the larger picture of life. I hope what you read does the same thing for you. Laughter is one more way to engage our faith in the truth that God is truly, every day–even-in-this-moment-when-we-don’t-understand-what-He’s-doing–working everything together for the good of us who love Him. Go ahead, have a mighty laugh and remind yourself that God is still in control!