I displayed a sign proudly on my desk at work that said, “Ask me for the laugh of the day.” I would share a silly joke with any innocent bystander willing to take me up on the offer. Laughter rippled across cubicles as I shared cheesy jokes that should never see the light of day. Shortly after I started spewing out jokes, I began an intensive nine-month healing journey to recover from pain in my past. Dejected and deflated, I tucked the sign away in a drawer.
For a season, life lost its color and I lost my laugh.
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:13)
My spirit had been crushed, but Jesus longed to restore my brokenness. As He tenderly returned laughter to my life, a new fervor erupted inside of me to loan laughs to others that may have lost their laugh along the way too.
Laughter can’t erase our pain, but it can ease it. This revelation birthed the Laugh Stand.
I woke up itching with excitement. I had that old, familiar feeling of a kid on Christmas morning who bubbles with anticipation over the thrill of what the day will hold. This would be the day a dormant dream became a reality.
My mom and I loaded up the Laugh Stand in the back of our truck and headed to a popular lake. As we assembled all the pieces to our Laugh Stand, a curious passerby would inquire, “Oh, setting up a lemonade stand?” With a smirk on my face, I would respond, “We’re actually setting up a Laugh Stand.”
Their puzzled looks were priceless when hearing the traditional lemonade stand was swapped for an unconventional laugh stand. My stomach ached from laughter when I asked evasive walkers, “Would you like to laugh today?” While laughing, they automatically shook their heads and responded, “No,” thinking I must be selling something.
All the people we loaned laughs to blurred together until Lisa rode up on her bicycle. She teared up when she discovered our comedic attraction was a mother-daughter effort. Lisa divulged she was riding around the lake thinking about her mom that passed away years ago. We were like angels to her. Letting the tears flow, she warmly embraced my mom.
A piece of her heart found comfort at the foot of the Laugh Stand.
Then there was Frankie. I spotted him early on, far away in a chair gazing at the lake. He slowly inched his chair closer to our Laugh Stand until eventually his curiosity consumed him and he came to check out the activity. I could sense something downcast about Frankie, so I gently asked him, “What brought you to the lake today?”
With hesitation, he shared how he visits the lake daily since he lost his best friend in a car accident. As we chatted with Frankie between other Laugh Stand visitors, I felt that nudge to pray for him. Nervously, I asked him how he felt about prayer. When he told me he loved prayer, I asked if we could pray together. Hands joined, the three of us lifted up our prayers to heaven and there Frankie wept, pouring out his pain through tears.
His bottled grief was released at the foot of the Laugh Stand.
God took the Laugh Stand and transformed it into an expression of His glory. We all have a Laugh Stand waiting to be ushered into this world. It’s a place where passion meets purpose. The moment when what we were created to do merges with who we were created to be. We feel fully alive for once, all our senses are stirred and there’s a buzz in our spirits that can’t be contained.
I almost let this dream die inside of me. I would have missed out on such meaningful moments. There’s something inside of you that this world desperately needs. Maybe it’s been forcefully stifled, carefully stuffed or temporarily stolen. But it doesn’t have to say that way. May a resurrection occur in our lives that will bring our dead dreams or buried joy to life again.