Saturday, August 18, 2012

Does God laugh?

 Does God laugh?

One sure-fire way to eject yourself from a bad case of election year doldrums (when you want to puncture your eardrums with an icepick if you hear even one more session of muck-raking): think of someone you like and allow their laughter to ring in your memory. This works for both folks "on this side" and others who have "made their transitions." You will instantly feel uplifted. It works. Amazing.

My father's laughter boomed, like his voice. He opened his mouth wide and let the mirth whoosh out. My mother's was more timid, a little chortle at first, then full-on belly laughter if she was really tickled. My sister's sounded a lot like my mother's, with a little wind chime quality that made everyone around her smile. And my brother? He's still on the earth, so I can ring him up and hear his laughter. Or I can call its gentle rumble from memory. Either way.

I can call to mind the laughter of coworkers, life-long friends, family members, and sometimes casual acquaintances. Some snort, some titter, some guffaw. And they never cease to make me smile when their mirth--as individual as their fingerprints--calls to me from its file in my mental storage.

Taking this one step further--as I tend to do--I wondered if God laughs. Plenty of spots in the Bible refer to joy. To peace. One place in Ecclesiastes (3:4) speaks of a "time to laugh." But nowhere do I find tales of God or Jesus laughing. Hm...

One fellow, well-versed in biblical knowledge, commented that we might not want a jester as the ultimate leader. Imagine your surgeon with your life in his/her hands, yukking it up. Okay, I get that. But...

I like to think God, the universe, the ultimate power (however one perceives it), as taking time to listen to both our laments and cries for help/mercy/compassion and to hear our laughter. Seems everything is about balance, and why should this be any different? The sound of human suffering, the pounding of the war machines, the heartbreak of everyday living must somehow, in my humble estimation, seek the flip-side music of chortles, guffaws, and giggles.

The job would be intolerable otherwise.

I hope God laughs.