Life has been very un-funny these last few days. I had 27 action items on my To Do list that received no action at all except for late at night when I moved them to the next day’s list. There was a family medical concern, there were interruptions, misunderstandings; the tyranny of unrealistic expectations bore down, and just as I had snuggled into a quiet place to write, a jackhammer began pounding across the street. It was then that my dog shook once, twice, and threw up on the rug.
I looked at what had been in my dog’s stomach, what was now on the rug inches from my feet. That’s when I saw it—the postcard of the little girl laughing with a camel. I could use a laugh like that—possibly, a camel. Prior to finding this postcard, I hadn’t once thought about camels laughing. I had a hamster who used to wink at me. This really broke me up until I realized he only did this when the cat looked in his cage—that wink was a nervous twitch. I sprayed pet odor eliminator on the rug and thought about something I’d heard about laughter. It seems that children tend to laugh a great deal each day as opposed to adults who only manage a few, measly chuckles.
Had I become one of those adults?
Children can teach us a lot about laughter. They can keep a bad joke going until a reasonable person must leave the room and give the order: Stop laughing. But maybe it’s time to laugh. Maybe it’s time to find the craziest friend you’ve got and laugh so hard you can hardly stand it. Maybe it’s time to say, look if a camel can laugh—and this is normally a somber animal who gets picked for long desert journeys—maybe we need to get in on the joke.
We can look at the headlines and the bank balance and the stuff our dog leaves on the rug; we can worry about disease and be challenged on every side, but maybe that’s why God invented laughter. It’s a way to remember that life is good.