Laughter Can Change Attitudes- It’s a Good Medicine

Hoss Family Camping Legend- Please note the names have been changed to prevent cataclysmic, permanent embarrassment.

After wiping sticky fingers and faces and tucking 3 children under five in for the night, we climbed into our sleeping bags exhausted. Oh the joy of being horizontal and relaxed. Sleep came instantly to our exhausted bodies. We’d spent the first night of camping in the emergency room with our younger son with an out-or-control asthma attack.

Unfortunately, our restful bliss didn’t last long.

“Mom!” I wet Grandma’s sleeping bag!” In my cloud-fogged half conscious state of mind, I heard our eldest moan.

Handing my husband the flashlight, I mumbled directions on where to find a change of clothes.

Unbeknownst to us, David hadn’t liquidated Grandma’s sleeping bag, he had only piddled a drop. To an adult robbed of much needed rest, one drip sounded like a waterfall. He stripped our son down to his birthday suit and left him standing in the crisp, frigid mountain air.

Just as Daddy retrieved a clean pair of Star Wars briefs from the bottom of the suitcase, David announced in desperate crescendo, “I have to go. I have TO GO! I’M GOING!”

The sound of running water in a friend’s borrowed tent is not a good thing. I sat up to witness my son, looking like a concrete cherub fountain letting it flow. Daddy’s cupped hands swayed back and forth trying to catch it.

When the cup method failed, Daddy attempted to pinch the nozzle off as his fingers impersonated a tweezers, clamping at the source of the flow.

“STOP! STOP!” he screamed.

David stopped… when he was empty.

Fortunately the tent was pitched on a slight incline and the flooding river raged to the southeast corner, away from anything vital to our survival. I emerged from my comfort zone and began sandbagging the dike.

It took every one of our clean towels to sop up the flood. The indicator on David’s tank was definitely on the big “E.”

“That’s it!” Daddy roared, his hands in the air. “We’re going home!” The ideal family camping trip had just been rained out.

Clearly I understood and respected how my husband felt. Our weekend campout, meant to be restful, had been just the opposite. I sympathized, yet a giddy feeling bubbled from deep within my tired spirit and I wanted to laugh.

So I did.

There was no containing my behavior as I dropped to the deflating air mattress and rolled about with joyful, gut-splitting fits of funny-bone ecstasy.

Daddy glared. David shivered.

I stopped my carousing to assess the severity of the situation. How bad could it be? When I dared look at my husband in the shadowy flashlight, his stern face began to tremble. His lips widened to dimple his cheeks, he swallowed, twice and gave up the fight. His laughter billowed in waves and I joined him allowing the best medicine to overflow and drench us with healing joy.

I’m not sure how long we convulsed at the hilarity of the situation while David skipped naked about the tent.

The thin tarp walls seemed to bellow in and out from our spontaneous eruption probably awakening the entire snoozing campground. But that didn’t stop us. We were making a joyful noise and loving every minute.

Our heavy, stressed out hearts from the extended stay the night before in the ER, no sleep and a urine soaked tent, were made light and merry because of a Biblical remedy found in Proverbs 17:22, “Laughter is great for the soul, a good medicine.**”

Laughter is a good medicine. The healing power of God’s prescription never fails. We just have to put it into practice.

Diagnosis: Heavy Heart

Rx: Humor, Side-splitting Laughter

. **My paraphrase

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