The Gift of Laughter

Laughter is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. God knew the importance of laughter way before scientists discovered how valuable it is to our well-being. An important ingredient for our emotional health in dealing with the stresses life can bring.

I can praise God in the same breath for laughter and for my sister! They go hand in hand. My sister, Marcia, who has taught me numerous things in my life, has truly lived and been “the MEDICINE” in my life countless times. She has been the instructor of Proverbs 17:22,”A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” It has been said that, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” There couldn’t be a truer statement as it applies to the two of us.

Just over a year ago we were driving home from University Hospital in Augusta. My sister and I had come from a pretty stressful and gloomy doctor’s visit with my mom. It was just the three of us in the car. We were pretty silent in the car for only a matter of minutes until, of course, God prompted my sister to take us back to a childhood memory that included our mother. Marcia proceeded to make fun of the clothes Mom would make for us because she liked to sew. She told my mom how we really wanted to wear store bought dresses but endured her passion for sewing by wearing her pitiful looking dresses! (They really were pretty good!) But for the sake of laughter, my sister “hammed it up”. By the time we were 4 miles down the road, we were pulling over to go to the bathroom because we were all literally laughing so hard we were wetting our pants.

The same thing happened years ago when I had been in the hospital room with Thomas for 24 hours straight, just absorbing the news of him having a chronic illness until, yes, you guessed it, “The Medicine” showed up. In minutes laughter filled the dreary hospital room.

God puts certain people in our lives to teach us many things. Marcia has taught by example, “A sense of humor…is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” That laughter is the same for everyone in every language and it can make the bleakest situations bearable. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous poem he talks about laughing often and much…….I have learned this from my sister. She has taught me that through laughter: 1. You will worry less. 2. You will enjoy a more fulfilled life. 3. You can expose your true self (being transparent). 4. You can connect with people on a deeper level. 5. Most importantly, through laughter, you can experience more moments of significance. It is my desire that everyone learns to laugh more for the reasons given above. Laughter is a natural medicine that God provided for all to enjoy. Pay attention to those that know how to laugh,they can be some of the best teachers in life.

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