Prayer and laughter


So I sat at my computer this morning for 15 minutes writing the day’s post and then the computer went awol on me and my words evaporated into cyberspace mist.  Frustrating. Also another reminder of my attachment to my own words.  When my last breath comes I will have to let go of all my beloved words and stand before God stark naked.  Might as well get used to it.

Before the words fled, I was writing how another staple of my weekly rhythm is our Wednesday morning healing prayer group. For many years I have been gathering with a handful of people to pray for healing.  We began the group in  response to the needs of a beloved member’s cancer diagnosis, and over the years it has provided opportunity for a great deal of love and compassion to be expressed.

One of the surprising aspects of the group is how much laughter is present.  There are some very funny people in this group who bring out the silliness in one another.  I get to enjoy some really good, belly aching yuks.

One of the distinguishing marks of our church’s unusual mission statement is the prominence of the word “laughter.” It begins, “In a hostile, hurting world we reach out to share kindness and laughter.” A good laugh is, generally speaking, a gift of grace and a sign of faith.  “In spite of everything” — all the darkness, brokenness, etc., we laugh, snatching the present moment away from the burdens that oppress us. In order to laugh, you can’t take yourself too seriously, and Lord knows we all do, myself especially.

What happens when we pray is a mystery, but we think we’ve seen results from our prayers over the years.  We do a guided meditation together that helps us enter into Sabbath rest and touch the reality of the wholeness that already exists in heaven.  (“Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”)  We become conscious again of the ocean of love we are all floating around in, in spite of everything, and, in our imagination, bring others into that ocean for a blessing.  At the end, I say a benediction, and in short order people are back to cracking jokes.

The rats look less intimidating when you can get in some good yuks.

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