There is an elementary school down the street and the sound of children’s laughter regularly fills my patio. It makes me smile. Laughter attracts laughter. It’s contagious. I have a friend that is a kid magnet. Every time a group gathers, we will find him buried with kids that are giggling with delight. Children know a fun factor when they see it.
People speculate whether God laughs, since the Bible never explicitly says, “God laughed.” But enough evidence exists for me. In fact, I picture Jesus much like my friend, with kids always wanting to be near, smiling and laughing.
As I look at his creation – giraffes, ostriches, and other odd-looking creatures - I think God was amusing Himself. But He invited all of creation to play along. I picture dolphins flipping in the waves, monkeys clowning around, dogs chasing each other, deer frolicking in the morning light, even elephants dancing for joy at seeing long lost friends. It seems, to some extent, they are just enjoying being alive.
Created in God’s image, joy and laughter are part of the range of emotions we are given. Children everywhere create ways to make their own fun and games. Babies laugh with joy. God tells us to dance, to sing. We find Jesus celebrating at weddings and feasts.
Many of the parables Jesus told had a funny twist – like the guy with a log in his eye. Our translation may miss some of the tongue in cheek, but He clearly had a sense of humor. He paid His temple tax with a coin from a fish’s mouth. And when His disciples were in a boat during a storm, He walked out on the water – and was just going to pass them by! It looks like He was playing around a little, but sometimes humor is used to make a point.
Jesus gathered children around Him and blessed them. It appears that kids were comfortable in His presence. I doubt they would have flocked to an always serious, dour person.
We are beckoned to come as a child to God – open, light, carefree, and trusting. Like a parent watching his child at play, our enjoyment of life and each other makes God smile, and I believe He joins in our laughter.
"Rejoice and be exceeding glad." Matthew 5:12