When I arrived at St. Theodore’s there was a painting (I think in the Library) that is a depiction of Jesus laughing. Now his laugh wasn’t just a smiling chuckle. It was a throw your head back, mouth wide open, from the belly, boisterous laugh.
While I am not partial to such “art” the intimacy and purpose of the “moment” was not lost on me. Then, a couple of weeks ago I read Brother James Koester’s reflection from the SSJE email I referenced last month. It said:
Who do you laugh with? That’s the person in whom you will begin to see the face of Jesus, who calls you his friend. It is in the face of the One who calls you friend that you will discover the truth of what this means: no one has greater life than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. And it all begins, I think, with laughter.
Who makes you laugh? “Who do you laugh with?” Can you laugh at yourself? Do you need someone to make you laugh?
Laughter is a great equalizer, it helps cure so many things. It soothes pain and grief and brings levity to seriousness. Laughter is a sign of goodwill when done together. Laughter boosts the immune system, decreases stress, reduces anxiety, and can lower blood pressure. Laughter is good for us.
I think Jesus knew this. Maybe that painting is a good reminder of who we are to be as followers of Jesus. Maybe we need to follow that example a little more often. Maybe we need to laugh more.
Maybe I’ll go and find that painting soon.
Fr. Will +
Brother James Koester