Posts Tagged laughter

The Right Time and Place

One of the surprises that came with writing my book, Our Father: Discovering Family,* was getting to revisit at least in memory with some of the saints that inhabit my world. Some of them I wrote about others are still unsung. Most of these remembrances brought a smile to my face and a deep sense of joy and gratitude.

I also realize that my small home town of Woodruff, South Carolina was the ideal place to encounter people whose values would guide my life. Yes, it was the segregated South and yes these people were prisoners of their place and time. Never-the-less, I did not see or experience the meanness that is so evident today. I did not hear the harsh rhetoric toward public officials that is so pervasive today.

I got a head start on race relations. While we lived in the Abney Mill Village and in a company house. The company sent crews to do regular maintenance. One day the two person crew at our house consisted of two Black men. They were repairing a bedroom window and I was watching them from the inside. I had not yet learned how to tell time. When one of them asked me the time, I simply threw the alarm clock out the window to him. They loved it. From then on when we met on the street they greeted me loudly and recited the story to their companions. This incident set the tone for my life. Everyone enjoys a good laugh. Laughter is a healing force.

Pink Robinson was the custodian at Woodruff High School. He had a laugh that was unmistakable. And contagious. When the windows were open, you could hear his laughter as he returned from an errand on Main Street roughly two blocks away. Smiles spread across the classroom no matter which class you were in when his laughter rang out. It is not a stretch to say that everyone loved Pink.

Rev. Susan Sparks, a Baptist pastor in New York City, a lawyer and a standup comedian, has written a wonderful book, Laugh Your Way to Grace. She contends that Christians have forgotten how to laugh in church. She maintains that laughter is a gift that needs to be nourished. She’s right. Some of my best memories are of Northside Baptist Church and the saints and sinners that I met there.

*Our Father: Discovering Family. Wipf and Stock. 2016.

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168 Ways To Communicate Better Now Plus Two – 78 – 79 – 80

78. Laugh.

 Laugh hard and often.

Laugh at yourself.

Laugh with others.

Make laughter important in your life. 

 79. Learn from the experiences of others.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Interview experts…

Get a mentor.

Read! Read! Read! 

80. Learn from your mistakes.

Once is enough to learn.

Figure out what went wrong.

Figure out how to do better next time.

Don’t dwell on your failures.

Move forward. 

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Linger -Key 45

            Relish the conversation, the cup of coffee, the flower garden, the view. Smell the roses. Let the dirt trickle through your fingers. Enjoy the breeze. Lie on the cool grass. Gaze at the stars. Hold hands a little longer. Taste the moment. Don’t sacrifice this special moment to what will be or what might have been. Sit quietly and just listen. Time rushes by so quickly that in our haste we will miss the part of life that is so important. We need to replenish our souls. What a wonderful, beautiful world we live in! Don’t miss it. When this moment is gone, it is gone forever. Let the laughter bathe your soul. Feel the spirit, the energy, the love, the compassion that is all around you. This moment is what we have.

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