I was going to talk about the devil today but he can go to you-know-where. I will visit him (or her? - now there's an interesting thought) another day. After our previous heavy-going exercise on our God-given sex drive we need – well I do – to lighten up.
So, let's talk about something completely different. Any suggestions? Yes, you, the lady in the third row with the boa constrictor – and might I say what a fine specimen he is. I do beg your pardon, “she”. By the way, how do you tell?
What was that? You're wondering whether God ever laughs? Wonderful suggestion.
As it happens, my eldest grandson raised this with me when he was just six years old. He might have been five – no matter. This wonderful little philosopher speculated that because God is God he must have the best sense of humour of all. How do you argue with that?
Incidentally, and please excuse this aside, but the same extraordinary young mind a couple of months later commented, after my wife had accidentally reversed her car into mine, 'You don't expect your wife to crash into your husband, do you Poppy?'
Delighted and amazed, I agreed. He consoled me further as he said with a shrug: 'Sometimes, good things happen, and sometimes they don't, you know.' What a joy!
So, does God laugh? Interestingly, I doubt there is one single reference in the Bible to God ever having laughed. There are references to God smiling on his people; there are references to other emotions including anger and sadness; to compassion and empathy; to fear and loneliness.
Did Jesus ever laugh? Easy. Of course he laughed. What at? The same things that all children, all youngsters, all young people laugh at. How do I know? I know because he gave me a brain and he gave me common sense. Why wasn't it ever recorded? Don't know.
Surely only someone with the most outrageous sense of humour – dare I say, sense of the ridiculous – could have created human beings.
Another proof: why do most people take such delight in making one another smile, in making them laugh, in making them happy. No prizes – it's simply because that's the way he made us. But what about our free will? True, we don't have to do this but we prefer to do it because it makes us happy and, rather obviously, we prefer to be happy. And, therefore, or so I say, God smiles, he laughs, he is happy.
Too simple? Sometimes simple is right. It doesn't always have to be complicated. Though we are complex not everything about us is complex.
Another proof. Have you ever watched kittens or pups or cubs at play? Were you, like me, in fits of laughter? Did you not wonder how they could be so playful? So where did their sense of mischief come from? Again, no prizes. It comes from God.
As well, for me God is laughing when trillions of snow flakes, no two alike, create a winter wonderland; he is laughing when the flowers bloom, the trees sway, the sun shines, the rain falls, the stars sparkle, the breeze blows.
He laughs joyfully when we love; when we succour; when we forgive; when we remember what it was like be a child.
Think about it: we have the power to make God laugh. That's something to smile at, isn't it?
Incidentally, if you'd like to see some beautiful pictures of Jesus laughing and smiling check out the Jesus Laughing exhibition on this website.
The images will, I hope, lift your heart as they lifted mine.
Bill Farrelly writes a column for Marist Messenger.
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