In the picture of Jesus that I carry around in my head, He’s always laughing. He has a sort of “Why are you guys taking everything so seriously?” smirk on His face, and His arms, His hands are always reaching – away from Himself, toward His listener. Toward me. Toward you.
I love the way that Jesus served people when He was here. He was so raw and counter-culture and in-your-face about taking care of felt needs while pointedly (sternly?) addressing matters of sin and conscience and faith. He made wild suggestions: if you want to be worth something, serve somebody. If you want to master all of God’s laws wrapped into one, Love. Love God, love others. If you give even a cup of water to the broken, the ignored, the left-behind, it’s like you’ve given Me that cup of water.
A Jesus like that must be at ease with laughter and open-armed invitation. He didn’t discriminate, He just reached toward. In a time when women were marginalized and hated, He, without making any sort of show of it, walked alongside them as companionable equals. His best friends were nobody’s and somebody’s. He had the nerve to stand up to soul-killing tradition while carefully upholding Life-saving law.
And one day we’re going to be toe-to-toe with that One. We’ll see His face and know His ways and why’s and how’s. We’ll touch the hands that reached toward us and pulled us, urged us from our not-so-laughable dark. We’ll laugh, too. Without restraint or fear or shame. We’ll laugh too.