A God Who Laughs?

A couple of experiences recently led me to wonder if God laughs. Consider the following:

My two-year old son offered the following prayer last night before bed:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for moose, thank you for cows, thank you for my family, thank you for Robin Hood and Little John and Maid Marian, and Lady Kluck, and Prince John, and for bad guys. Amen.

The fact that his family made it after moose and cows in his grateful list was slightly disarming, but at least we came before Prince John and bad guys.

When my wife went into his room this morning, the first words out of his mouth were: “Mom, how many more baseball games until Christmas?”

One of the things that has surprised me most about being a parent is how much I laugh at the silly things our kids do or say.  So it got me wondering….does God have a sense of humor? Would he have laughed – or at least smiled – during my son’s prayer, like I had? Or is running the universe such a serious matter that he has no inclination to laugh?

Over the summer I read an account of a woman who had what is popularly called a near-death experience. After traveling through a type of tunnel, she encountered a being of Light (whom she understood to be God), who told her that it was her time to stay in heaven. She resisted, saying she wanted to stay on earth. When asked by the being of Light why, she replied, “Because I need to dance more.” The being of Light then suddenly burst into a loud “hearty laugh,” and acquiesced, saying that next time he called her, she would need to stay.

Just as I believe in a God who weeps, I believe in a God who laughs. Just as he weeps over the hatred and self-defeating behavior of his children, surely he laughs over the joyful, delightful, and even funny encounters in the mortal experience, especially as expressed in the lives and thoughts of little children, who are so full of cheerful laughter and good humor. After all, wasn’t it Jesus, who instructed us to suffer the little children to come unto me….for of such is the kingdom of heaven? Personally, it makes me happy to believe in a God who laughs with and loves the little children, even if they’re thankful for bad guys.