My friend Janet is a beautiful lady with a large heart, a twinkle in her eyes and many surprises up her sleeve. She connects well with people of all ages from the littlest littlie the oldest oldie. She has faced life’s challenges with courage and fortitude. She works hard. She is a loving Mum and Grand Mum. She loves Jesus. Yes, Janet is very special. In case you think she is perfect, let me add that she is a tad forgetful. (But then, aren't we all?)
The other day, she’d ended an email to me rather interesting fashion. She hadn’t signed ‘Janet’ or ‘Jan’ as she usually does but instead:
‘Not an ‘It’. Perhaps a ‘She’ or a ‘Her’.
And so, when I signed off my response to her, I replied:
‘Definitely not an ‘It’. Perhaps not even a ‘She’ or a ‘Her’ either.
Maybe a Heffalump!
She responded at once. She said she’d had a belly laugh at my ending – a laugh she badly needed that day. That made me very happy.
Have you had a good belly laugh today? When did you last have one? Do you laugh often? And do you like making others laugh?
I have an early recollection of saying something funny – maybe when I was around eight or nine years old. My sister Ranmali burst into happy laughter in enjoyment of my little joke, whatever it was. I loved seeing her laugh. That memory has stayed with me all these years. I realised then what a big blessing it was to make another happy. I believe it birthed in me a desire to try to make others happy and to place a smile in their hearts.
Lately, I’ve been listening to an excellent audio book called ‘Spiritual Leadership’ by J. Oswald Sanders. I was delighted to find that one of the qualities suggested for leadership (along with other essential things like being filled with the Spirit, being a good listener and so on) was the necessity to have a fine sense of humour. He mentions how leaders who possess a good sense of humour bless those they lead. I fully agree. In fact, I believe that a sense of humour is an essential ingredient to a happy, fulfilling life. Laughter is often music to our ears. Laughter is also great therapy. There was a very difficult time in my life when a wise friend’s listening ears combined with her making me laugh, brought balm to my wounded heart. It taught me the value of laughter as a tool in managing sad emotions. Laughing at oneself is also something healthy to do isn’t it? Being able to lighten up and not take life too seriously is definitely a wise option.
I’ve just googled the word ‘Humour’ and here’s one definition which I liked. “the mental faculty of discovering, expressing, or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous’. That was from the Merriam Webster Online dictionary. That puts it very well doesn’t it? The mental faculty of discovering (YES!), expressing (YES again) or appreciating (YES) the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous.
Making me laugh is a good way to befriend me. I am usually attracted to people who have a good sense of humour. In turn, I would love to interject witticisms into daily conversation but alas – I often think of something appropriate only long after I should have said it. I would love to be funny; but don’t believe I am. I do enjoy the lighter side of life though and take pleasure in kidding about stuff as much as I benefit from the serious spiritual God-breathed aspects of life.
Unfortunately, we seem to put humour and spiritual concerns into two separate baskets, don’t we? And yet, humour is obviously very much a part of God’s Nature. He who created many funny creatures (some on two legs like myself) – surely has a wonderful sense of humour. Where else do we get our sense of the ridiculous from but from God Himself? We were obviously created with the capacity to enjoy the comic side of life. Joy and laughter are linked - laughter begets joy and joy begets laughter.
Little children laugh very easily, don’t they?. They find humour in every day life at the drop of a hat. I think we adults have sadly wandered off the beaten track and often forget to enjoy the funny side of life that was our birthright. Jesus is called ‘A Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief”. But I believe that that is only one aspect of the Jesus I know and love. He who understood sorrow also understood life in all its fullness. He knew how to laugh. I am sure of it. The Bible tells us that ‘A merry heart doeth good like medicine’.
Have you enjoyed a belly laugh today? Go on… find something to laugh about.
You may even come across a crazy Heffalump who will join you!