I sometimes wonder if the most sacred times on earth are when friends are laughing with each other in trusted delight. I wonder if self-effacing humor is what can help defuse a non-believer’s mistrust of us talking to them about God. I wonder if laughing at ourselves is a big part of what makes us safe. I wonder if entrusting others with the risk of humor is much of what allows us to let each other in. I wonder if dogs think things are funny but just haven’t figured out how to laugh. I wonder if my last words on earth, with my family and best friends next to me, have at least a kind hint of humor. I wonder how long I’d make it if nothing was funny anymore. I wonder if God and the angels laugh when I say something funny. I wonder if God created humor and beer to offset the realities of our fallenness. (I never heard anyone say anything particularly funny on earth before the Fall!)

I wonder if people who laugh well really do live longer. I wonder when I’m pretending to be famous, waving at people in public, if they think I’m funny or just annoying. I wonder if I’ll be funny when I’m old. I wonder if God and I will make each other laugh when I get Home. I wonder if one of the clearest indications of those who have trusted God’s grace is the ability to suspend the tyranny of urgency, to enjoy the ever-present humor in even hard seasons. I wonder after I’m gone, if people will do impersonations of me and laugh in fond remembrance. I wonder if I’d run for political office and refused to tear down an opponent and used lots of humor, if I could have won. I wonder where that carpet layer is, who one rainy evening, in Connecticut, told stories to a room full of people and had me laughing so hard I thought I would wet myself.

I wonder if the people I trust the most with me are ones who laugh the best with me. I wonder if most of the best evenings of my life involved laughter. I wonder if part of maturity in righteousness involves learning to give humor that builds up and doesn’t manipulate or hurt others. I wonder if beautifully woven humor actually does heal and free. I wonder if the clearest indication of my health, is being able to enjoy humor. I wonder if friends will forget my unkindness and remember my playfulness. I wonder if what I’ve been placed on this earth to do was to affirm others by allowing them a place, a home, by the ritual and rhythm of safe humor.

John, one of the three amigos, part of the ever-growing tribe of grace…and affirming laughter.