So much gloom and doubt in our poetry-
flowers wilting on the table,
the self regarding itself in a watery mirror.
Dead leaves cover the ground,
the wind moans in the chimney,
and the tendrils of the yew tree inch toward the coffin.
I wonder what the ancient Chinese poets
would make of all this,
these shadows and empty cupboards?
Today, with the sun blazing in the trees,
my thoughts turn to the great
tenth-century celebrator of experience,
Wa-Hoo, whose delight in the smallest things
could hardly be restrained,
and to his joyous counterpart in the western provinces,
~Billy Collins “Despair”
So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear… The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels… never concealed His tears. Yet He concealed something… He never restrained His anger… Yet He restrained something… There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or imperious isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
G.K. Chesterton in his closing words of Orthodoxy
There is humor in the Bible –irony, puns, absurdities, parodies, paradox–yet we miss hearing the laughter of the heavens as we are simply too close to the joke to get it. In fact, we are likely the punch line of the joke more often than not. God shows remarkable restraint when it comes to observing the hilarious antics of His children. We don’t see verses such as, “Jesus laughed” or “Jesus smiled” or “Jesus stifled a chuckle” even though He surely had plenty of opportunity. He was too gracious to laugh at us so surely He laughed with us.
We often take ourselves too seriously. A little joy can’t hurt.
A lot of joy is hearing the laughter of heaven itself.
Wa-Hoo and Ye-Hah!