Laughter is the language of the soul.
On a sliding scale of difficulty, my past few weeks have been up there. I say “sliding scale” because, of course, that’s what it is.
Life-struggles are relative; none easier or harder necessarily; they are personal, unique, and connected to our stories, our realities, our awareness, our capacity. All that considered, were I to give them a ranking between 1 and 10, I’d be at about a 7. But in the midst, I’ve been acutely conscious of how often I have laughed.
I have laughed at myself.
I have laughed with others.
I have laughed in spite of myself.
I have laughed so hard I’ve had tears running down my face.
And I have laughed through my tears.
Laughter is a sign. A marker. A navigational tool.
It (re)connects me to the present and reminds me that appearances and circumstances can be deceiving; that despite how things seem, hope and love abide.
When I laugh, no matter how tough things look or feel, I know I am OK; that I can persevere, survive, and even thrive. I may not know how, when, or at what cost, but at least for those gracious moments, I stop doubting.
And in such, for me, laughter and faith are interchangeable.
- More powerful than my doubt, my despair, my sadness, my fear – even if only for those few gracious moments.
- No need to understand or dissect it, it just appears – and encourages, lifts, lightens.
- Not dependent on me – a spontaneous and nearly autonomic response to something mysterious, bigger, higher.
I’m not advocating that we laugh at our troubles, that they are whimsical or silly or comical. I am saying that it is in the darkest and most unlikely of places that faith bursts forth – unbidden and unexpected – like a giggle that escapes our lips when we least expect it; a laugh (and faith) so deep and so healing that we cannot help but know hope.
Trials, tribulations, difficulties and struggles hardly wane. And at least in my experience, they seem a given in this life. But the fact that somehow, even in the midst, laughter can and does occur, is what enables my faith.