In a book titled “Laugh Yourself Healthy,” I found this wise saying: “If you laugh a lot, when you get older your wrinkles will be in all the right places.” At first, I thought about the “crow’s feet” wrinkles we call laugh lines that form around the outer edge of our eyes. With deeper thought, I recognized the wrinkles that form in our hearts from events that happen in our lives.
One summer night, when Tom and I were first going together, we got lost on a remote country road in northern Ontario. For some reason, instead of becoming angry or frightened, all the silly jokes about men refusing to ask directions began to march through my brain. Laughter bubbled up inside me until it burst forth. Tom pulled the car over to the side of the road. “You’re not angry?” he asked, his face full of surprise.
“No,” I answered. “Anger won’t help.”
“Thank you. You’re wonderful,” he said, and smiled. He pointed at the sky. “There’s the north star. We want to go west, so I’ll turn left at the next side road. That should take us back to the highway.” Sure enough, within five minutes we were on a paved road with signs directing us to the next town. That experience has been foundational for our relationship.
Laughter helps. We remember the times we laughed till we cried and our sides ached. Such moments of blessing leave us refreshed and exhausted. Scientists’ studies have proven that laughter brings healing.
Since I struggle to remember jokes, I have decided to start each week of 2012 reading in “Laugh Yourself Healthy” until I find a joke that causes me to at least chuckle. I will write it down and share it as often as possible. After all, I know I enjoy people who bring laughter into my life. And I know wrinkles are inevitable. They might as well appear in all the right places.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV)