20140608_AnnieDowns_laughter

I got a package in the mail full of sticky notes, each of them written by a different student at a camp where I had served earlier this summer.

Words are my love language all day every day, so reading through these little notes was a total joy. I came across this one, and it registered with something deep in me.

“You bring great healing through laughter.”

I’ve always been the class clown. You can ask any of our (in)courage writers — if there is a serious conversation going on, I’m probably going to pipe in with some dumb comment that tries to get a little laugh (or I’m going to be formulating them in my mind but keeping quiet because I’m an adult and I’ve learned comedic timing…most of the time :) ).

But what goes along with being the class clown is the insecurity that your serious self will never be enough — that the reason people bring you around is because they need some levity. The lie is whispered, “You are funny, but your opinions don’t actually matter. Stay the joker; don’t try to be wise council.”

BUT I LOVE BEING FUNNY, YOU GUYS. I JUST CAN’T HELP IT.

I come by it honest; my dad is a CPA who does stand-up comedy on the side. (Seriously.) And so my nature and my nurture say that being funny is the right choice, but often the funny ones aren’t taken seriously or respected. And that’s hard. And sometimes the funny girl feels like the least needed character in the story.

This one sticky note reminded me of why we need the class clown- healing comes through laughter.

We need the serious ones around us, the ones who make us think and make us wonder and call us to be better. But, we need the yahoos, too — the ones who, as Proverbs 31 says, laugh at the days to come. The ones who see a situation and can pull out the humor and joy and show us the lightness, even in dark moments.

We are the body of Christ and God has called somebody to be the funny bone.

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If that’s you, be brave. Be funny. Celebrate your wit and humor and know you are a vital part of the family of God.

If that isn’t you, if humor isn’t your natural go-to, celebrate the funny ones in your life. They wear different lenses when looking at the world. They need you and you need them.

And if you need some healing today? Laugh. Make someone else laugh. Bring laughter into your home, your life, your friendships. You need a class clown in your life because sometimes those are the exact people God uses to bring about the healing you’ve waited for.

Tell us … Who in your life makes you laugh?

. . . . .

By Annie F. Downs

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  1. 1
    Monica says:

    Annie,
    Your words are so true! My youngest brother has ALWAYS been our “funny bone.” Furthermore, I am convinced that our Lord has a sense of humor, as my son is JUST like his uncle..same habits, same sense of humor, and his comic timing (even in the most serious situations) is impeccable! I often tell my mother that God clearly has a sense of humor…as I feel like I am re-experiencing living with my baby brother all over again through my son! Thank you Annie for reminding me how precious these two guys are to our family.

  2. 2

    Annie,
    I am so thankful for people like you! I love to laugh and laughter is such a healing force…think of yourself as the EMT of the emotional world :) . My friend, Cathy, makes me laugh until it hurts. She was telling me how she broke her wrist falling off her bike. “Where were you when it happened?” I asked, concerned. “In, my bonus room,” she responded, “I fell off my recumbent exercise bike.” We howled…only Cathy could do that and then bring others to tears telling about it. Thank you for a wonderfully uplifting post this morning!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  3. 3
    Kristen says:

    In my family, my son is the funny bone and honestly this post helped me to realize that and helps me appreciate and value that side of him. It’s so nice to have someone funny around, especially when times get tough because they shed light on situations and being healing through laughter! Thank you for sharing!!

  4. 4

    Annie, I love this post. I wish I was the funny one. Every now and then I crack a one-liner that gets a laugh, but that’s every now and then. :)

    Our youngest is naturally funny. He has been since he was a toddler. At the age of ten, he’s learning when it’s appropriate and when it’s not appropriate to make a wise crack. As his mom, I’m trying to teach him without stifling his sense of humor. :)

    I’ve also got a dear friend with a very funny take on life. Her Facebook posts always make me grin. People who make you laugh are so needful in this world where serious and “get ahead” tend to be the Modus operandi.

  5. 5

    Thank you, Annie! THIS IS ME!

    Actually, it could be anyone in my family. My siblings and I…all funny…a little legacy left to us by our very funny MOM.

    Thank you for reminding us that we need to be taken seriously…and that we have a place: “We are the body of Christ and God has called somebody to be the funny bone.”

  6. 6

    Amen.

    I’m a deep deep deep deep thinker. About the LORD and well, I love to talk and engage as well. But others who are so insecure about themselves cannot seem to enjoy the moments.

    I suppose ….. I need to understand others who ….. are insecure as well.

    As I think far too much and go far too deep ….. when I engage in this world I love to enjoy people ….. people I love and enjoy. But it’s mostly taken the wrong way and discord and unhappiness happens.

    I love to think 100 times a minute.

    I think I must slow down to … less than one thought a minute and join the majority percentage of the population ….. O but it’s so boring boring boring.

    So, I daydream …. right in the middle.

    Of God.

    I’m a David.

    :)

    And I love happy and jokes …… all the time.

    Hey, God has a great sense of humour.

    Dunno why man doesn’t.

    :)

    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  7. 7
    Kirsten says:

    Sometimes its me – but I suffer with fibromyalgia and as a result depression so some days are harder than others…

    My best friend Matthew on the other hand is a constant source of laughter and giggles, not matter how bad I am feeling he can always get a chuckle out of me, a true man of God, he sees the positive in every situation – and I would be lost with out my class clown!

  8. 8

    Thank you for this, Annie; it encouraged my heart. I too have been called to be a funny bone — not that I am not serious about my faith or the impact that my life can have on people. I have sometimes caught myself wondering if the only thing people will say at my funeral is, “She was so funny! She always made me laugh.” Your words reassure me that God made me funny, and that lifting people through humour is part of the reason.

  9. 9

    My best friend for over 28 years has brought me so much laughter…she is a Godly women and so optimistic, did I mention a touch of ADD too:D My life would be incomplete without her.
    I also gave birth 20 years ago to a funny bone, our son!! He is not only the class clown, but 6’3 1/2″ tall. My husband is 5’8 and I am 5’4!!!! What a Blessing he is to our family! Thank you for shining light on being funny…at times I have tried to quiet my child in his younger years, I’m so glad he didn’t, cause God has a BIG sense of Humor!!!

  10. 10
    debbiesneddon says:

    I totally love this! We so need to lighten up. So thankful to God for those who do this in my life because I tend to be serious & focused so much of the time. I can be the funny bone in certain instances, my daughter however is much better at it! Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

  11. 11
    Melissa May says:

    Love this, Annie! I’ve never thought of someone as being a funny bone in the body of Christ, but I’ve often thought of how comedic it was of God to give me a large physical mouth to go with my big metaphorical mouth and I’ve even claimed to that my part in the Body must be a mouth. :D Lord, let me be a mouth that remembers to LAUGH! Keep it up, Funny Bones. We love you for it. And YES. We. need. you.

  12. 12

    My husband can always make me laugh on a bad day. We wrote our own vows, and he vowed to make me laugh at least once a day. Four years into our marriage and I’m pretty sure he’s more than succeeded on that one! :D

  13. 13
    Melissa says:

    There is a gal in the moms group I go to at church who has this gift. I remember one time we were all literally doubled over and our faces hurt afterward because she made us laugh so hard. I love her. She’s a powerful woman of God and can bring His Word like a boss, and then she can have everyone rolling on the floor clutching their sides. :-) And now she’s moving away! Sad day!

  14. 14

    Oh I just love this reminder Annie, to allow yourself (and others) to just be who we are intended to be in the body of Christ!
    While I LOVE making people laugh, it’s usually unintentional ~ I say something out loud that I was thinking, or it just comes out different than it sounded in my head. The friendships I value the most bring *both* levity and deep heart conversations. :-)

  15. 15
    Paulette says:

    There are a few in my family. My dad used to make us laugh all of the time. That passed down to my brother who could mimic my dad and made us laugh watching how much he sounded like Papa. My son is also funny and he gets that from his dad who can make my tummy hurt because I can’t stop laughing. I wasn’t blessed with the funny bone and for me to tell a joke is scary because either I start laughing and can’t get out what I’m trying to say or it doesn’t sound funny. I am satisfied listening to the jokes and humour of the family God has blessed me with.

  16. 16
    Debbie Billingsley says:

    Annie, it is so true what you say! Laughter helps us heal. My mom is in the mid to last stages og dementia. She is not angry or violent. She is almost always happy and I find that being happy even silly with her and the other residents in her home is very healing and helpful. Laughing about her forgetful ways is much better than crying always. It makes her laugh too. So good to know the joy that can come from seeing the humor in something, rather than the negative.

  17. 17

    My younger sister Ashley Lynn makes me laugh every day. I tend to be more serious-minded and therefore, am prone to getting upset/depressed more easily. My sister is a ray of sunshine, bursting with the whimsy and laughter needed to keep me going. Laughter truly is healing and important.

  18. 18

    You are SO RIGHT about the healing power of laughter, Annie. I come from a whole family full of natural hams. We were each voted Class Clown in our respective years in high school! As God takes me deeper into His Word, I’m learning to be serious at least a few minutes longer. But eventually, something funny just HAS to burst out. So glad to know you are a kindred spirit!

  19. 19

    Annie, I am typically the class clown, and I so appreciate your reminder that it’s actually an important role to play. After all, Laughter’s the Best Medicine, right?!

  20. 20

    Annie, I loved your article. I am a Christian comedian, not on purpose, but I have been doing this as part of my income for a long time. I love the connection that laughter makes with people. There is nothing like it.

    I guess I have always been the “class clown” even though I didn’t know it or never saw it. When Facebook came out and I reconnected with friends from high school and college they all kept commenting on how they could “see how I became a comedian” and that I always made them laugh. I never new that back then.

    Laughter is a great tool for ministry and for healing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. ” Job 8:21.

    All the world needs a clown….

  21. 21

    Annie,
    I love this. My class clown is my younger prankster sister and my husband who is a pastor but has a tough time keeping a straight face at home, always opening up the door to humor in very unexpected moments. I’ve come to appreciate this lighter side and when my husband and sister get together I’m sure to be laughing. Humor is so important in parenting. Kids plus parents equals lots of sitcom-ish situations that will only be rightly seen if seen through the glasses of funny. Last week dark in the night i went to go unload the trash. It was dark and rainy and i had no idea my oldest kid followed me. She crept behind me and kneeled down at my feet waiting to scare me. I like an idiot thought she as a cat, tripped over her, and found myself plastered to the soaking wet grass. I let out an “I’ve been mugged” scream and found both of us on the grass. At first i was annoyed. She was no cat, but my child. After i got her inside and told her exactly how dangerous it is to scare people unexpectedly…i couldn’t be serious. i can just picture my 93 year old neighbor now looking wide eyed as i tripped over my own child and face planted the rain soaked grass while screaming. Life is funny and i caved to laughter and so did my girl. We take ourselves, our points of view, and our screw ups way too seriously. Thanks for this perspective.

  22. 22
    Beth Williams says:

    Annie,

    Your post resonated with me. Sometimes I feel like no one takes me seriously. I joke some, may not be the class clown, but laugh at things a lot. The following paragraph describes how I feel–especially at work: “But what goes along with being the class clown is the insecurity that your serious self will never be enough — that the reason people bring you around is because they need some levity. The lie is whispered, “You are funny, but your opinions don’t actually matter. Stay the joker; don’t try to be wise council.”

    I will try to still be funny–because the world needs laughter, but I want to be taken serious at times!

    Blessings :)

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