hell yeah, laughter

laughter. the best medicine. i’ve long believed in this.

back in the day, as a crisis counselor working with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, i was often in awe of how much laughter there was in trauma care. in the darkest moments of a person’s life, how easy it was–how healing!–to find such pure joy. and through laughter, a return to our wholeness. both the survivor’s and mine. a communal act of healing.

last friday, when church folks gathered as we do each week in the name of Christ and in commitment to the work of racial reconciliation and healing, we found the presence of God to be angry. there was rage in facing the truth of who we are! in witnessing on a national–world!–stage such sin (as in “sin=separation from God”). as facilitator, i dared to drop the f-bomb. it felt good! it was real! it was true! and it brought laughter. there, joy in the pain. light in the darkness.

tonight, during an Epiphany bible study, as we read scripture and reflected on times we’ve judged others and turned away from God’s presence, laughter came as we showed up in our messy, humanness…humble and longing.

i know that with laughter, i experience a holy presence.

returning to a text that i’ve been reveling in lately, Yunkaporta’s Sand Talk, i found this juicy bit on just this thing: “If people are laughing, they are learning. True learning is a joy because it is an act of creation.”

i love this. and i would add that the same is true for weeping.

but let’s stay with laughing for the moment.

because yeah, the world right now.

joy as an act of creation?!?! yessss.

years ago, i was having a very deep and serious “leadership review” with a colleague. it was my role in the organization to check in with team members to take their pulse on their health and wellness in the org and to also take the pulse of the org.

these conversations always felt so vulnerable, with folks trusting me with their truths–hard to do in professional settings. so here we were. she began: “i am really, truly happy. happier than i’ve been in a long time.” she went on to share a bit about why…and then, before we knew it, she arrived here: “i am deeply depressed.”

it took a moment. and then…

we both died laughing.

i mean, we DIED laughing. so hard, for so long.

so TRUE. so REAL. so HUMAN.

i was there with her and she knew it. we both did.

i’ll never forget that. laughter as the thing that revealed our connection, our humanity. it revealed Truth in a new way that changed everything. Truth in the complexity of Truth–where there are multiple and even opposing truths at once.

magic.

and now, in times of such national chaos and collapse, isn’t it a miracle that we can find laughter? that it finds us?

that’s the way of Spirit. the way of Love.

always there, to bring us home.

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