A good laugh

Pastoral Messages | April 23, 2020

Laughter is really great for the soul. It may be the perfect antidote to a life soaked with anxiety. When pieces of our world as we’ve known it appear to be slipping away – some of them forever? – why shy away from humor? It may be that thread to sanity we all need.

I sent an email to some friends yesterday with photos of actual facemasks people have designed to serve as their own personal protection equipment. Most of them were taken in store checkout lines. As soon as I sent it, I started laughing out loud. Nobody else was in my office at the time, and here I was doubling over with laughter, especially as funny comments started rolling in. What were these photos of? A female shopper who had rubber-banded a yellow and green brillo sink sponge over her mouth and nose. A woman who wore a conically-shaped birthday hat over her face. A man who cut out part of the back of a 5-gallon water jug and put his whole head inside.  Another guy who cut a hole in a surgical mask so that his cigarette could poke through.

Some wonder if it’s okay to laugh in the midst of a crisis when people are dying? Is that possibly wrong? Tasteless humor doesn’t rank high in my book when it comes to this pandemic; but then again, I’m not sure that tasteless humor deserves a place in non-crisis moments either. But to laugh at some harmless funny stuff online is therapeutic for half-empty souls right now. Have you seen the video of the guy pouring Crisco oil on his tiled kitchen floor so that he can grip the counter and have his own in-home StairMaster? Or the video of another individual stuck at home doing a salsa dance in front of his mirror, touching the mirror every time he wants to spin his partner?

I don’t know if bursts of dopamine released by laughter actually increase blood flow, assist in pain tolerance, or improve immune response, as some people say they do. It doesn’t matter to me. What laughter offers is perspective, an opportunity to avoid being consumed by a crisis. The next time you laugh with someone else over the phone, or in tandem with some online posting, you’ll know why we sometimes refer to laughter as infectious. It’s contagious in a good way, a way our world isn’t seeing enough of in these trying times.

-Peter W. Marty, senior pastor

8 Comments on “A good laugh”

  • Darla DeVriendt

    April 26, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Thank you Pastor Marty!
    Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine! ?

  • Georgeann Kreiter

    April 23, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    A. very funny post on FB is entitled the most inept seamstress! She’s making a facemask and it’s sort of hard to imagine how she could make such a mess of things, all seeming to be completely serious about what she is doing.

  • Becky Griesbach

    April 23, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    As Mary Poppins said it best-
    The more you laugh
    The more you fill with glee
    And the more the glee
    The more we’re a merrier me!

  • Belinda Holbrook

    April 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    I play ping pong every day with a fellow Ridgecrest resident. We get some exercise but best of all is the time we spend laughing at each other’s missed shots. It does feel so good to laugh. We’re working to perfect the shots we’re attempting to bank off the wall! Not much success so far.

  • Jeannine Crockett

    April 23, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Exactly…I totally believe in laughter & I have certainly created some laughable moments at home lately! Hmm is it due to the virus or my age? I’m going with the virus.?

  • Connie King

    April 23, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve always heard that for every minute you laugh, you prolong your life an hour. I laughed at something a colleague emailed the other day, and it occurred to me how long it had been since I laughed. It’s definitely good for us!

  • Debbie James

    April 23, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    I recently saw a cartoon of someone interviewing for a job. The employer said to the candidate on the other side of his desk, “There is a big gap in your resume…What were you doing in 2020?” The candidate replied, “I was washing my hands…” Too funny! Thanks for your article reminding us of the importance of laughter!

  • Scott Forsberg

    April 23, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Thank-You Pastor for sharing this. Some of these descriptions are indeed pretty funny, creative or just whatever you want to view it as. I did in fact see the guy dumping oil on the floor and immediately started cracking up! Good stuff!!

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