Humor as a spiritual exercise; day 25 of Ramadan

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Proverbs 17:22 – A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

I like humor, I like jokes, I like elaborate stand up lines, I like simple but catchy one-liners… As of late I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts on my way to work; The Liturgists Podcast / RobCast / Drunk Ex-Pastors, and as of this week I will be adding You Make It Weird with Pete Holmes. I’m adding the latter because a friend suggested it and hearing Pete Holmes on The Liturgists Podcast and RobCast, I am liking his stuff more and more, plus he seems like a pretty cool human being.

The thing is, humor finds a way in to the parts of that make us laugh hardest and deepest, it also on another level it seems to let the oh-we-can’t-talk-about-that have a space that might offend us but at the same time it might make it palpable and more human. I think that when humor offends us we shouldn’t ignore it, but rather explore the reasons why; is it in poor taste? Does it hit home? Is it too personal? Is the subject matter culturally / religiously / etc taboo?

Personally I kinda like my humor to be smart but a bit profane; Eddy Izzard, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin are my favorites for leaving no stone unturned and there are no sacred cows left unbarbequed. I used to like to keep it under wraps, “bad” humor that is, but it is so freeing to not hide that part of me provided I have an audience can handle it. If some individuals don’t appreciate it I don’t dish it out, but if you can you’ll get that side of me.
I also like that humor dispels tension and stress so much of the time. Ever have a good laugh? One of those laughs that comes from the gut and you’re left laughing and laughing and it kinda hurts but at the same time doesn’t? Those kinds of laughs are my favorite, they kind of feel like a mini ab workout.

Humor is a good thing, it’s also a God thing, if you don’t believe me start with the platypus and move into other animals and make your way into human beings. There’s a lot to laugh about, just don’t at the expensive of others (unless they want to be roasted) laugh at others.

So with all that being said, humor was my keyword on this 25th day of Ramadan. Thanks be to God who has made a funny world; from human beings to platypuses (platypi?) to you and me to us to we. May we be thankful and offer up healthy laughter to God and onto each other.

Salaam alaikum be yours now and always,
Nathanael

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