Pro 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
The culture you and I live in today lives in fear. Fear of active shooters, fear of offending, fear of living and so much more. With all that fear in our hearts, it's hard to smile or laugh. You and I need to laugh. We need to laugh a lot and often. So with that said, here we go.
Years ago, at another church I was pastoring, I asked for people to come forward to be prayed for. A young lady came forward, and as I leaned in to hear her request, she leaned in to speak to me. BONK! Our heads collided and it hurt. She grabbed my shoulder to steady herself as I was steading myself. Both of us were seeing stars. In respect to those praying around us through, neither one said anything out of pain. All we could do was stand there until the pain subsided. Then she realized the humor in the situation and started to giggle. When she started giggling I started to giggle. But again, in respect to others, neither one of us laughed out loud. Instead, all you could see were two people who appeared to be in serious prayer. What we didn't know was, everyone was watching. With no knowledge that we had just butt heads or that we were laughing it was assumed that some, "serious" praying was going on. I realized that people were praying louder and becoming more animated. So I looked up to find the whole church standing to their feet praise and worshipping God for this holy moment. I quickly lowered my head and told her what was going on. With this, she almost lost it. Her little giggles had now become full-blown laughter. She put her hands in her face in an attempt to cover her smiling face. But from behind all people could see was her body shaking. They assumed she was crying, not laughing. The more she laughed, the more they prayed. It thought to myself, "Dear God, I am never going to get out of this alive." I leaned in again to see if I could get her to calm down but that made things worse. She snorted. I lost it. To keep people from seeing me laugh I looked up to heaven with a smile on my face and kept saying, "Thank You, Jesus! Thank You, Jesus! Thank You, Jesus!" Now I suspect that Jesus was looking down at me thinking, "No, thank you, Russ, for the good laugh!" People thought she was weeping before God. She's weeping alright, but it wasn't before God. I know this prayer service is over, she knows this prayer service is over but how in the world can I close this thing. God must have heard my prayer because one of the worship team members started singing. Everyone started singing with her. That was my queue. I whispered to the young land to keep her head down and walk back to her seat. I turned, looked at my associate and told him to close the service. I stepped off the platform, out the door and laughed all the way hysterically back to my office.