191 – Laughter – Intention on the Spiritual Journey

In case you thought all of Lent was a time for solemn faces and frowns, consider these words of H. A. Williams,

“God, we believe, accepts us, accepts all men, unconditionally, warts and all.  Laughter is the purest form of our response to God’s acceptance of us.  For when I laugh at myself I accept myself and when I laugh at other people in genuine mirth I accept them.  Self-acceptance in laughter is the very opposite of self-satisfaction or pride.  For in laughter I accept myself not because I’m some sort of super-person, but precisely because I’m not.  There is nothing funny about a super-person.  There is everything funny about a man who thinks he is.  In laughing at my own claims to importance or regard I receive myself in a sort of loving forgiveness which is an echo of God’s forgiveness of me.  In much conventional contrition there is selfishness and pride which are scarcely hidden.  In our desperate self-concern we blame ourselves for not being the super-persons we think we really are.  But in laughter we sit light to ourselves.  That is why laughter is the purest form of our response to God.” — from “Tensions: Necessary Conflicts in Life and Love” by H. A. Williams and found in “A Guide to Prayer” by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck, 1983, pp 239-240.)

I need these words this week.  I need to remember how important laughter is.  I need to remember not to take myself too seriously.  I need … to open my eyes to the beauty and humor that surrounds me.  I need to hear a child laugh.


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