Laughter is good medicine!

Laughter is good medicine!

I’m sitting here at Starbucks and it’s wonderful to not only be out but that it’s here, writing and drinking my Flat White latte after a forced confinement of ten days due to deep snow and ice last week. This morning my back is feeling the shoveling I did yesterday as I dug my car out of the snow.

I’m having a bad case of that feeling-my-phone-vibrating-when-it’s-not syndrome and it’s driving me crazy. The music is a bit loud but I’ve accepted that it comes with the territory. My breakfast is eaten and now it’s time to get to work. I’ve finally gotten this website rebuilt and set up, though it has taken a while to do so, around life and a road trip to a funeral in Atlanta, plus having to pay someone to set it up for me (and answer all my questions). Now I can put it on the back burner and focus on writing and publishing my books. Writing sounds like such a dream job, and it is, but not in the context that so many think of as a “dream job.” It’s not just playing and having fun all day and making lots of money, as we generally envision our dream job. It’s lots of hard work and self-discipline and learning tons of technical stuff. It’s marketing and things that I never really wanted to learn. Writing is the candy here, not the other. Unfortunately there’s more of the “other” than the actual writing!

As I lay in bed last night I was thinking (which is a mistake since I get all invested in a train of thought and then can’t fall asleep) how Jesus (when he lived on earth like the rest of us) was so human. He got frustrated, disappointed, hurt, experienced dread of the future (in the garden facing the cross), got offended (sellers in the temple), and felt so many of the emotions we experience on a daily basis. He felt pain both physically and emotionally. But he also laughed, danced, enjoyed jokes and good-natured teasing, and felt the warmth and security of family (though they probably also drove him crazy at times, like any family does).

We tend to forget how human he was. I suspect he wore blisters on his hands and feet working and walking, got splinters from his carpentry work, stubbed his toe, and might even have exclaimed a few choice (non-cursing, non-blasphemous) words when he smashed his finger with the hammer. (My dad, being a good missionary, would exclaim “CONSTANTONOPLE!!!) Jesus would have gotten mosquito-bitten, been hungry and thirsty, and felt that the ground was too or cold hard at night and wished he had a good bed. I suspect that there were days he didn’t want to get up or when he had sore muscles from what he had done the day before. Like many of us, his “dream job” wasn’t a bed of roses. Just because our heart is in what we’re doing and we feel a calling to it doesn’t mean that it’s easy and doesn’t require work and self-discipline. While I’m passionate about writing it still has a lot that I consider a chore (building websites, marketing, and formatting!). The Bible tells us that Jesus got overwhelmed with people at times and ran away to escape the crowds, that he got tired, and that he occasionally just needed some me-space where he’d go off and spend time alone with God. There were times when he tried to run away but the crowds followed him.

Yes, Jesus was sinless, but emotions aren’t sin unless you abuse them or they’re unhealthy. Jesus wasn’t an unemotional robot that walked with a smile plastered on his face, moving through life like a manikin. If that were the case we couldn’t relate to him. No, he was a vibrant, joyful, emotional, sort of guy. He lived passionately, throwing everything in him towards loving and ministering to his beloved people, and all the while experiencing the same sort of emotions we experience.

We are created in the image of God, and God is an emotional God. The Old Testament and the Gospels are full of an emotional God. I love that Jesus understands my emotions, and he feels them with me. When I’m sad he hurts with me, and when I’m happy he’s laughing with me. How amazing is it that he loved us enough to join us in our human state. What a sweetheart!

What emotions are you walking through at this moment? We can have many emotions at once, even though one may currently be overshadowing the others. If you’re experiencing painful emotions or fearful ones, then as soon as possible run to your Jesus space and sit down by Jesus, leaning up against him or laying your head in his lap. Then just dump how you feel on him. Let him hold you. It’s wonderful to feel his strong arms around you, to just sit beside him and let him comfort you and take the pain away. You’ll come away changed because of it.

Not currently feeling any painful or fearful emotions? Run and hang out with him anyway. Oh, such fun!