Psalm 126:2a Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. Luke 13:13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
God, I laugh and I move through my arthritis,
I laugh and I decrease my stress.
I laugh and my mind is clearer –
no, I don’t remember everyone,
but I remember
how people who love me make me feel.
I laugh and I relax in chemo or dialysis.
I laugh and I feel control over my chronic pain.
I laugh and I boost my immune system.
I laugh and I do not need to self-harm
to think about fentanyl, a drink, a bet.
God, I laugh and somebody believes
my faith is full of joy,
and one day that I will never see
slides into the back of a church.
I laugh and I have the energy for one more
letter, email, meeting for justice.
God, I listen to someone else’s laughter
and my grief eases just a little.
I see the humor in squirrel’s antics,
or my hat-hair or a cartoon strip —
then my next choice of words are kind ones.
Teach me to laugh, God
who made aardvarks and adolescence.
place your hands on the bent place,
turn my wrinkles up,
and open my heart —
for I am ready to praise God. Amen