I like to laugh. A lot. I remember uncontrollable fits of laughter into my pillow as a little girl at sleep overs and getting called out by disgruntled parents. In high school I once had to leave a class because I was laughing so hard at a comment a friend whispered to me. Sometimes when I really get going I have pee a little. Just a little. Sometimes it hits me right before bed and I get in trouble for getting my roommate too amped up before sleeping. Trying to suppress laugher is the worst: my throat gets all tight, my eyes water, and I’ve been known to drool a little.
Yesterday Mandy, Jara and I decided to keep the contemplative spirit alive in Phileena and Amanda’s absence from the office. We began by running/racing to Phileena’s office for prayer because there are only two really comfy chairs and three of us. Jara even left her shoes in the dust. As Mandy tried to figure out how to turn the bells on Jara and I were giggling and talking about what would happen if I fell asleep during prayer and knocked this enormous picture off the wall with my head during our time of silence. Would you interrupt your prayer? Get up and ask if the person was okay? The three of us decided we would not be able to keep focus: we would laugh.
About 3 minutes into the silence something went wrong with the computer and it made a pretty loud noise. Mandy got up to correct it. I opened one eye to see what was going on. Jara was shaking and trying to keep her eyes shut. Mandy sat back down and caught the laugh. I started shaking, too. We all made eye contact and laughed a little–as quietly as we could. Then went back to the more contemplative kind of prayer.
Jara pointed this out to us this morning. Vanier writes in Community and Growth: “And there is something funny about humanity. Little as we are, poor as we are, with all our ‘animal’ needs, we are called to become more than angels; brothers and sisters of God, the Word made flesh. It seems so ludicrous and wonderful, so crazy and yet so ecstatic. And the most rejected are called to be at the heart of the Kingdom. Everything is upside down. No wonder some people at sacred moments have the giggles.”