Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

Josh with Mimi and Papa

The phone rang at 11 p.m.

I always hate late-night calls.  Especially when the voice on the other end says, “Mrs. Douglass? This is Officer Brown.”

Oh no.

“I have your son here on I-95.  He wants to talk to you.”

It was nothing serious. Sigh of relief.  Josh’s truck had quit running as he and his friend Dustin were on their way to visit Josh’s grandparents.  They had been sitting on the side of the highway—at mile marker 237– for two hours before Officer Brown came to their rescue.

I called AAA and headed out for the hour drive to meet the tow-truck.  Usually you wait a long time, but this time the tow truck was fast and about to leave when I arrived.  I sent him back to Orlando to deliver Josh’s green Ranger to our mechanic.

And Josh and friend and I headed home.  They begged me to take them on to Mimi and Papa’s, but I said no.

Five miles farther north and I could turn around and head home.  We were making good time going south on I-95 till mile marker 232.  Then a tire on a semi right in front of us peeled off and slammed under my car.  I lost power immediately and coasted to the side of the road.

So I sheepishly called AAA again.  “Guess what?  I need another tow truck.”

“Sorry, Mrs. Douglass.  You are in the middle of nowhere and the only truck just headed to Orlando towing your other vehicle.  It will be two hours before we get a truck to you.”

He was right on.  For two hours we waited—from 12:30-2:30.  The night was hot and sticky.  With no power we couldn’t run the ac.  We were parked next to a swamp, and the mosquitos were merciless.  And I had failed to bring food or drinks—the boys had had nothing since 8 p.m.

Josh was miserable.  Even distraught.

I just kept laughing, which made him angry.  I kept thanking God, and he was incredulous.

“Why not laugh?” I said.  “Complaining will not change our circumstances, but laughing and thanking change my attitude.  And it will make a great story.”

Finally the tow truck arrived.  “Sorry lady.  Our insurance doesn’t allow me to carry 3 passengers.  Can someone stay here?”

Hmm, would that be one or two 16-year-old boys, or one mom?  On the side of the road, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere?  No.

So he drove us to the next exit and left us at a closed service station.  Again I laughed, and said, “Thank You, Lord.”

I called a friend who drove the hour to pick us up.  A quick stop at a rest area with vending machines and restrooms, and we headed home.

At 5 a.m. we all went to bed.

And to this day we talk about the night we spent on I-95.  Josh  began to understand that laughing and saying “Thank You, Lord” made a bad situation not so bad.

And it has been a great story!

What about you?  When have laughter and gratitude made bad not so bad?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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Laugh out loud!

LOL is one of the very good things to come out of the internet.

Laughter accomplishes wonderful things: relieves stress, binds friends, lengthens life, promotes healing, increases energy, beautifies the face—and just feels good!

Sure, some laughter is not so good: at the expense of others, at coarse jokes, with evil intent, in derision.

But I am talking about the genuine, welling up, laugh out loud kind!

I was recently with sisters and brothers in Indonesia. Friends who have been through a lot in recent years: tsunami, earthquake, volcano, imprisonment for their faith. They have suffered serious pain and loss, and they are not glib about that suffering.

Yet repeatedly they overflowed with laughter. Light, easy laughter. And strong, deep laughter.

How is that possible? How can people with so many griefs, so many tears, laugh so much?

They can laugh because it flows from deep joy. They have discovered the truth of these words from Scripture:

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’” (Psalm 126:2)

“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Acts 2:28)

When we recognize the truth of all that God has done for us, when we dwell in His presence, when we focus on His love and desire for us, when we are thankful for all His gifts, then joy fills us. We rejoice, sometimes even through our tears.

And with that kind of joy we can LOL!

c2011 Judy Douglass

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My grandboy Ethan is one happy kid. When I see him, his face lights up. When we play peek-a-boo, he throws his head back in peals of laughter. When he wrestles with his big brothers, his chortles rise from the pile. Glee should be the name of his personal show.

On a recent Wednesday his cold meant he couldn’t go to Bible Study Fellowship with Mom. So he went shopping at Walmart with me. What a time we had!

As we wound through the lanes, his laughter filled the air. Peek-a-boo brought repeated giggles. The animal sound toy I bought him kept us both laughing as we each quacked, barked, neighed, baa’d….

Ethan’s joy was infectious. In each aisle, people turned to see who was making all the noise. And always, they smiled. They said, “What a happy boy.” Some chuckled. Others laughed. No one frowned.

We covered the entire store! Bringing merriment and hilarity to the drudgery of that Wednesday to scores of bored shoppers.

The joy Jesus offers is even better, deeper, truer. Are we infecting people with it wherever we go? Is our joy spilling out and filling up all those in the aisles of our lives?

© 2011 Judy Douglass

en español:  El Día que Llevamos Gozo a Todos en Walmart

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