“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.” Jewish Proverb
During Lent we often focus on the solemn and somber. Ashes, fasting, and abstinence deepen our somberness (especially if low blood sugar is an issue, like with me!)
It’s also tough looking around these days when there’s so much out there to frighten us. Not just human trafficking, wars and violence, but also outbreaks of freaky viruses.
As faithful readers know, Virginia worked overseas for a number of years in conflict zones and places where health challenges abounded (malaria, HIV/AIDS et all.) Just about every day I asked God for the gift of Holy Hilarity.
I lifted that prayer request from Carolyn Williams, a lovely lady from Montana. We worked together on a big event in Washington, D.C., that involved piles of stress. She often prayed, “God, please give us the gift of Holy Hilarity as we do our all for You today.”
That stuck with me, because I think laughter is a gift that helps us rise above so much.
Years ago in university I wrote a research paper about freedom, using laughter as an example of how people rise above challenging circumstances. Specifically, how my papa laughed (and made others like me laugh) not letting the constraints of a crippling disease and wheelchair bind his spirit.
Overseas God answered my prayers for Holy Hilarity many times, respites of joy in nerve wracking situations. While doing the caregiving gig later here for my parents, God also blessed us with many occasions of hilarity. (It helps that my papa had a quirky sense of humor and my brothers pun it up regularly.)
So today, consider asking God for the gift of Holy Hilarity.
“Blessed are you who laugh now, because you can bring the joy of Christ to others, to those whose days are woven of tears… Laughter means that you let go – let go of all that shackles you to yesterday, to dead hopes, imprisons you in your small selves. Blessed are you, because you are free.” Father Walter J. Burghardt, SJ (1914-2008)
grace, peace & Holy Hilarity
Virginia : )
p.s. Photos taken last week in Va. Beach whilst celebrating my brother Dwight’s birthday. (Dwight’s ‘friendly’ shadow made Virginia laugh a goodly amount!)