God laughing at us

“He uses complicated diagrams to make himself look really smart.” A few months my 12-year-old son offered to make a commercial about my consulting business. It turned out that my son had some fun with earnestness and use of complicated diagrams. Here’s the commercial he made:

I’ve learned a lot about spiritual formation and prayer from the author, Richard Foster. I recently heard a talk where Richard talked about one of the most transformational moments in his spiritual life–where he heard God laughing at him. Richard had been trying hard to discern an issue that he saw as an important ethical decision, about whether to wear a tie or not. In loving response, God laughed at him, which helped Richard laugh at himself.

As I’ve been very busy doing lots of work lately, I’ve had a sense that God is laughing at me, in inviting, challenging, loving ways. I can sometimes laugh at myself or others in ways that are cynical and distancing. I think God is asking me to listen, feel, and join God’s laughter–that can be unsettling, but also an invitation to intimacy and freedom. I’m leaving soon to help facilitate a gathering of 500 church leaders, where we’ll be listening for new things God is doing in their region. I pray that we may hear and join God’s disarming, healing laughter, at the conference and beyond.