My mom always says that my brothers and I have been blessed with dad’s disposition. He had a kind and gentle spirit, and he always found a way to bring humor to otherwise humorless situations. These past couple of weeks, I have needed something to make me laugh. In my world, there have been more than a few reasons why one could easily give in to having a troubled heart. Serious illness, scandal, hurt feelings, fear, division – in other words, human tragedies large and small.

I’ve been pretty demanding of God during these difficult times. God (I plead) grant my heart some peace. God, give me courage. God, shower me with grace.

I will admit (though not quite as freely) to having been pretty demanding of those closest to me, too. My family and close friends have been filled with grace as they listen to me, help me to process, and act as the face of God for me. This is where God has answered the demands I have made. God has given me peace through the loving presence of that person who allowed me to talk through my troubled heart and did not judge or offer solutions. God has given me courage in the response of that person who guides me to find strength in the confusion and light in the darkness. I have known the face of God in the unexpected support of that person who has been strong and wise.

In the midst of these struggles, God has showered me with the grace of a community willing to laugh. A lot. In the midst of the darkness, I have been blessed with a community with a sense of humor. With smiles and heartfelt embraces. With laughing at the absurd, the ridiculous, or the random. With celebration of the good things in life, as small and insignificant as they may seem. God has given me the strength, courage, and grace in the large and small. Grace is in the grins and the guffaws and the hugs and the craziness. Because life is really laughter and tears, and everything in between.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Psalm 126:2