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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Two parts faith, one part humor

Do the two mix?

Perhaps you grew up as I did: taught implicitly, if not explicitly, that laughter and humor had no place in church—and by extension, no connection to faith. Thankfully I had a father whose faith and sense of humor were both important to him. They saw him through many difficult life experiences, including 11 years of cancer. Even in his final days in hospice, Dad set the tone for laughter and prayer to co-exist.

Even so, I think Dad also learned that laughter had no place in church. But as he aged, humor filtered through all parts of his life. He couldn’t contain it. I’m glad he didn’t.

I’m experiencing that, too, as I age. I don’t want to keep laughter and joy segmented into one area of my life called “humor.” I now see my sense of humor and my faith as connected. Actually I see all of life as connected. The aging process is teaching me the importance of synthesis and bringing together into a whole all the parts of my life—the sacred, the profane and everything in between.

I can be quite serious when it comes to world events, injustice toward people who are devalued and marginalized, hurt and pain in people’s lives, and sad events in the lives of those I love. I also take my calling as a child of God seriously. But we can learn to lighten up in our approach to life. At least that’s the path I’m striving for at this stage of life.


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April issue

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Faith traditions

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