Is it okay to laugh when things are bad? If what you are doing is serious, does that mean you can’t smile?
I was reading an article recently from the Wall Street Journal that made me think about our need for good humor (“The Secret Group of Scientists and Billionaires Pushing a Manhattan Project for Covid-19,” by Rob Copeland, 4/27/20).
The byline of the article explains that this group is “working to cull the world’s most promising research on the pandemic, passing on their findings to policy makers and the White House.”
As this particular group of experts has been pushing hard for a solution to the world’s coronavirus problem, the article gives us a peek at the details of their daily grind: “Personal hygiene went by the wayside. Michael Lin, a Stanford University neurobiologist, began disabling the camera on his phone to protect his vanity.”
Smile! Who wants a Zoom meeting to lead to your co-workers zooming in on what you look like when you didn’t want to bother preparing to be looked at?
The next line in the article tickled my funny bone:
“A couple of days, I’ve had seven or eight Zoom meetings, which will itself I’m sure cause some kind of disease,” joked David Liu, a Harvard University chemical biologist.
It may not be hearty laughter, but I still loved detecting a chuckle from this chemical biologist at his own joke. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying, and sometimes you will do a bit of both. But we do need to laugh! If intelligent people who are fighting a deadly virus can make jokes, we all have a better chance of getting through this.
Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (NIV). Ah, good medicine. We all need some of that right now. We need all the good meds we can get. Remember to smile! Enjoy a laugh now and then.
Thank you, Lord, for simple wisdom, packed into a short proverb. And thank you, Lord, for the ability to cheer ourselves and to spread cheer, even when—especially when—we are facing hard times.