“Humour is such a wonderful thing, helping you realise what a fool you are but how beautiful that is at the same time.” Lynda Barry, cartoonist
I don’t think I have ever written about humour before. It’s difficult to know where to start really, I think everyone has a different idea of the word. A joke might be one person’s side-splitter maybe another’s confused nervous laughter. In some ways it’s a real blessing that we all have sense of different humour; the world would be quite dreary if we all found the same things funny!
Laughing is often used as an exercise. It is amazing for not only mental wellbeing but also a great physical exertion too. (See https://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/ – yes that’s a real website…) Personally I’d much rather have a good chuckle than go to the gym! I think we all need a laugh, now more than ever.
All too often, I think religiosity and humour are separated. Laughing in church, you mad? Possessed even? I find it endlessly amusing when people hear that I am Christian and simply assume that I am rule-stricken weirdo. I think if I was, I’d probably be pretty boring! (Disclaimer, some people still find me dull).
I guess now is the bit where I either step into divine comedy or into heretical gibberish but I truly believe God gave us laughter and fun. If he just wanted us to follow rules why bother even giving us the ability to have a good time? The author of Ecclesiastes said:
“… when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” Ecclesiastes 5.19-20
We should rejoice in the things that we have, a sense of humour being one of them! Andii spoke about gratitude in his blog and I think we should be really thankful that God has given us opportunities to have a laugh even though we’re all stuck inside.
I wonder how often our sense of humour is at the expense of others. We laugh at other people doing silly things or our jokes are aimed at people. I am definitely guilty of letting out sly or sarcastic remarks without thinking of the victim! I find it difficult to see God pulling a cruel joke, I don’t see suffering as one of his pranks. Maybe God’s humour is more like that of an infant chuckling in contentment, not caused by an act of finger-pointing but because of the true joy of being alive.
During these “unusual”, “unprecedented”, “strange”, “new-normal” times we ought to celebrate our sense of humour. Let’s show gratitude to God by enjoying ourselves in what we do; be that art, baking, hospitality, writing…etc. To keep myself going during lockdown I have been doing a bit of design, some of which is (supposed to be) humorous. Take this example: https://alightcrossed.co.uk/post/620364120792956928/ikea-instructions-on-how-to-relive-lockdown-when I felt the urge to make some pretend IKEA instructions on how to remember what lockdown was when it’s all over.
What have you been laughing at? Seen amusing cat video or read a really funny blog (probably not mine) during Lockdown? Instead of laughing and moving on, why not spend a minute thanking God that you have been given the gift of humour and bless other people with your laughter too!