By Kelly Carr
Do you recall learning your first knock-knock joke? Doesn’t it baffle you to see what silliness makes kids giggle?
My favorite TV shows tend to be comedies. And one of my favorite parts of the North American Christian Convention this past summer was hearing stand-up comedian Michael Jr.
As a teen I found my parents’ old Erma Bombeck books filled with funny essays—I was impressed with how a turn of phrase could elicit amusement. In college I thought that humor would be one of the things I’d want in a future mate. And if you meet my husband you’ll know God definitely blessed me in that area!
Making a Bigger Point
I don’t easily crack jokes like some people—I think of the best thing to say too late. But occasionally when I can make a friend laugh, it feels pretty good. There’s something bonding about humor. It can help us let down our defenses and begin to let others in. Laughter can relieve stress too.
There are all types of humor. Sure, sometimes people try to make others laugh at someone’s expense or with lowbrow, inappropriate jokes. But funny doesn’t have to be lewd, mean, or shallow. Some of the most humorous people I know have a ton of depth. They use humor to get your attention, but then they have a lot more to say. It’s easy to mock others’ flaws, but kind and intelligent humor uses wit to make a bigger point.
This week’s theme for The Lookout is designed to showcase how laughs are uplifting, biblical, and even healing.
A Different Side of God
It’s important to take God seriously, but sometimes we give people the impression that God is boring or angry all the time.
I somehow had the impression for years that God was only stern and solemn. He felt distant in that aspect. But I recall the time when he showed me a new side of himself. It was at an Easter program at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. My friends were in the program, and I traveled to see them perform. I got more out of it than I expected.
Yes, the crucifixion was moving and the resurrection scene filled me with hope as it always does. But something happened before that—a small scene but powerful to me, nonetheless. Jesus was portrayed as hanging out with his disciples. They were cracking up and having fun. They even cut a rug and danced together at a wedding. I was enthralled.
Seeing Jesus depicted as one who loved with his laughs as well as his teaching—that changed my world. That was the piece of God I felt surely had to exist but wasn’t quite aware that it did. I sensed God’s Spirit move through that program to show me that there was more joy to him than I had fully understood. He was a God I surely could relate to. He was a God I wanted to know better.
I continue to seek out the God who came up with the concept of smiling and gave us the ability to laugh. While I am grateful for his matchless grace and humbled by his mysterious divinity, I also delight in the twinkle in his eye.