I am sure the nurses were a little taken back the morning we were admitted to the ER when they pulled back the curtain to our small transfusion space to find laughter. This wasn’t a band-aid and send home visit, and the circumstances were not so lovely, but there was a surreal space around me that made me smile.
All of the pressure and pain in my heart still thumped away, and my blood pressure was dangerously low, but the spirit of the Living God was present and joy filled that little space with laughter. I could see the seriousness, cares and concerns on the faces of the ER staff drift away as they entered and exited this little space. Those who came to visit were full of concern and prayer, but the mood was light and we were able to smile.
I run a tight-ship in our home. For many years I would get caught up in everything that a family of 12 had to do to keep things running smoothly. I was sure to incorporate fun activities, balancing them with chores and school. But, friends – there is a difference between fun and laughter. We can be a participant or host fun activities, celebrate with our children and give them joy, but discovering the gift of laughter has been a true gift during the last few months.
It seems that my God has brought me another gift that I had no idea I even needed.
Laughter truly is the best medicine.
Everywhere I turn there is something new that I am laughing about. Seriously. Were all of these things giving life to the soul around me before I was able to see them, or is this all new?
Just last night, our 30 minute drive home from Church was a ride of hilarity. I am usually uptight and tired by the end of a Wednesday evening. I simply cannot wait to tuck the children into bed and find a little quiet at the end of those long days. I am totally convinced there was an ambush by every single youth leader, thinking they might have handed out knock-knock jokes to all of my children last night. The entire drive home was a comedy show, from the front row to the back seat of our 15 passenger van, stammering out knock-knock jokes as fast as they could roll them off their tongues. And I laughed. Even when they were the silliest, non-sensical things that I have ever heard. They were funny. In a strange sort of way. Really funny.
For Mother’s Day, my family asked me what I would like to do. Croquet. The looks I saw on their faces made me laugh.
So, early on Mother’s Day morning, my amazing builder man, made a trip to the store to purchase a croquet set.
It was glorious. Glorious, I tell you. We played this simple game, laughing, enjoying the losses and wins, and I sat back to rest when it wasn’t my turn, watching the scene unfold around me. Their joy was contagious to me. I had not felt this well in days. And my laughter was lifting their burden for me. Contagious joy.
The truly funny thing is this – I am laughing at everything. I think that my family was watching closely to see if I had really lost my mind. You know, delirium. It is really funny to see their reactions when I find something funny. Almost as if they haven’t seen this side of me in forever.
God truly has blessed me with this new gift. This isn’t about having “fun,” or finding joy in the moments. It is really about the deep soul view on everything big and small. And not controlling the outcome. Laughter is a natural response to life.
Just this moment, I hear my three year old giggling her contagious laughter on the swings, and it makes me laugh. Last night my husband was checking out at a store, and the expression on the clerk’s face made me break out laughing. I think he must think me daft. It was so funny, we laughed about it into the night.
I feel like a new woman. I still have a very low hemoglobin, and cannot pick up life where I left off a month ago, (and I probably never will,) but the inevitable has happened,
“It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
It is amazing when a part of your soul realizes what it was missing. I hope you can find some laughter in your life today. Even if it is just a chuckle. It will feel glorious. But, be warned, for it is contagious.