It was late and we were both beyond tired. Our long distance phone conversation went on and on and finally I heard her yawn ~ loudly. We had repeated our farewells at least three times over the course of our chat, but then one of us would remember something we just had to ask the other. Finally, I said firmly, “For the last time. Good. Night.”
And that’s when it happened. She snorted…and I lost it. We both got the giggles and it was all over. Chortles turned into guffaws and soon we were both doubled over, doing the side-splitting, legs crossed, tears-rolling-down-the-cheeks laughing.
All of the sudden, I pictured the Lord standing beside me with his head thrust all the way back and his arms stretched across his waist, his jaw slack with laughter. And you know something? Truthfully, it surprised me.
I’ve never pictured the Lord laughing before. Smiling? Sure. But the knee-slapping, stop-I-can’t-breathe! kind of laugh? Nope. Have you?
Over the next few days, I couldn’t get that (totally cool) image out of my head, so out of curiosity, I began asking my friends this question. “Do you think the Lord laughed hard when He was here on earth?” Without hesitation, all of them replied with a resounding, yes. The most common reason was because Jesus was of course fully God, but also fully human, so he felt and expressed all the same things we do. Good answer. But when I asked if they personally had ever thought of Jesus laughing outright, interestingly, there was always a pause…and no answered in the affirmative.
I can’t recall any paintings of Jesus laughing. He’s always depicted as a rather sad and mournful individual, ever suffering on the cross or in the garden of Gethsemane. And admittedly, there’s no scripture in the Bible that says “Jesus laughed.” Nor is there any proof that He and his disciples shared fishing jokes. In fact, Isaiah 53:3 tells us, “He was despised and rejected; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” I don’t have to tell you friends, that there are too many days where there is nothing to laugh about.
But it’s also true that the Bible gives us glimpses of Jesus in good humor.
In Matthew 19, the disciples are decidedly frustrated with the children who have found a friend in Jesus. The Bible says that they were brought to him so that He might pray for them. A sobering scene right? Have you ever watched a child whose been brought to the front of the church by his/her parents to be dedicated and prayed over by the pastor? Inevitably, the child does something that gets the entire congregation laughing. That’s just how kids are wired. Their innocence makes us laugh.
And I’m convinced that when our laughter comes from that same place of innocence or delight, Jesus laughs right along with us.
Consider the wedding feast Jesus attended ~ the one where He turned water into wine. Can you imagine how much pleasure Jesus derived from watching the surprise on the master of the ceremony’s face once he realized that the “good wine” was offered at the end of the celebration? Can’t you just picture Jesus laughing with pleasure at the man’s obvious delight? Or perhaps chuckling with his Father at the obvious play in timing? Surely it was an ordained time to laugh!
I believe the Lord showed me a side of himself that I might never have imagined. And in a way, it’s changed the way I see him. Less somber and more affectionate. Not so grieved but actually glad and joyful and full of laughter. How about you? What makes you laugh, and can you picture Jesus Laughing Out Loud with you?
Nothing makes me laugh more than videos featuring children. Here are a couple of my all-time favorites. Go ahead and LOL. Jesus is joining you. 🙂
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