29 October 2009

"Did You Hear The One About A..."

Of the many topics which can be addressed in a blog relating to religion and specifically, Christianity, one of the most important topics is that of creativity. 

The ability to create through word, music, the fine arts, dance, or any of the variety of abilities God has endowed humankind with is one of the greatest gifts He has blessed us with. Creativity is at work in businesses, massages our fatigues, keeps our spirits buoyed, inspires the listless, energizes the tired, brings novelty to the tedious chores, and spreads wealth like no devised spreadsheet could. God, illustrating the point before man was ever created, did so by how He first organized the human: nothing is more creative or beautiful than the human being. The animals and all of the rest of the natural world, visible to the eye, is merely a punctuation mark when compared to the beauty of man and woman. 

He went the next step, not content to have all these powers resting in Himself. He spread the wealth and gave humans the power of creation-not restricting it to procreation or tending gardens or simply creating foods which taste good. He gave us creative powers that add flourishes to our lives: through the unlimited creativity of simple language and multi-faceted categories of the arts as well as the entertainment of human interaction. 

But one of the most wonderful gifts He gave us was the ability to laugh and to make others laugh. Paul Johnson, in his book “Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney,” addresses the blessing of having the ability to make others laugh-and what a gift it is from the God of Creation. “Some forms of creativity, no less important are immaterial as well as transient. One of the most important is to make people laugh. We live in a vale of tears, which begins with the crying of a babe and does not become any less doleful as we age. Humour, which lifts our spirits for a spell, is one of the most valuable of human solaces, and the gift of inciting it rare and inestimable. Whoever makes a new joke, which circulates, translates, globalizes itself and lives on through generations, perhaps millennia, is a creative genius, and a benefactor of humankind almost without compare. But the name of the man or woman remains unknown. I say “or woman” because women, whose lives are harder, need jokes more than men and make them more often. .. 

…I once found myself sitting near [an old comic named Frankie Howerd] and said… ‘You comics, who create laughter from what nature has given you, are among the most valuable people on earth. Statesmen may come, and generals may go, and both exercise enormous power. But the true benefactors of the human race are people like you, who enable us to drown our inevitable sorrows in laughter.’ ”

I have a strong sense from the Scriptures that God laughs a lot, not to mention the circumstantial evidence in my own life-it seems to me He’s certainly played a bunch of fun tricks thus far. Judging from the gospels, Jesus had such a sharp wit, that his serious disciples continually misunderstood his comments. 

There is a time to laugh.

  • Charity Johnson