The God of Silliness and Laughter

Hank Mattimore
Reproduced with Permission

I'm wheeling my ailing sister-in-law down one of the long corridors of the convalescent hospital. Bringing her back from the cafeteria to her own room, I'm feeling kind of down. Places like this can be depressing. I can't help thinking that we are somehow failing our parents and grandparents warehousing them like this. Why can't we take care of them at home? I know, it's complicated in our modern world. But there has to be a better way, doesn't there?

As I muse on these dark thoughts, I realize that I am not sure where Phyllis's room is located. Phyllis is no help. She is the patient after all. As a matter of fact, both of us have always been "directionally challenged," anyway. Well, we are having a heck of a time finding our way back to her room. All these blikety-blank hospital corridors look alike.

After a few false turns, ("Where the hell is room 216 anyway?") we start to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. I say to Phyllis, " Well, now we've done it. I've heard of being lost in a strange city but we're lost in a convalescent hospital." She giggles. Then, for whatever reason, I start to sing one of our all time favorite family songs.

Oh we ain't got a barrel of money
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along, singing a song
Side by side.

Phyllis joins in singing too. A nurse spots us, gives us a wide grin and does a little two-step. Staff at the nursing station crack up. We've started something. A fellow patient picks up on the lyrics.

Through all kinds of weather
What if the skies are gray
As long as we're together
It really doesn't matter at all

It's magical. For a moment at least, we managed to transcend the sadness of our surroundings. Grief was dispelled by silliness and song. I believe that God had something to do with those moments of silliness we experienced at the convalescent hospital just as He is present in the significant times in our lives.

When we are most discouraged, bent low by our sadness or failure, God intervenes and tells us to lighten up on ourselves. "Hey guys, cut yourselves some slack." It's not all up to you, you know. I'm in charge, and nothing is that grim that it can't be lightened by laughter.

We did eventually find our way back to Phyllis's room but in a much better mood. Maybe, next time I'll bring along a GPS to help us find the way. But I have no regrets; Phyllis and I and God had a blast.