— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
Some of you might know that I am intensely engaged with the study of humor and its multiple facets. Recently I came across a very interesting book written by Gisela Matthiae: „Wo der Glaube ist, da ist auch Lachen“ („Where is Faith, there is Laughter). As a theologian and clown she opens up a new perspective on faith. Faith and humor are two sides of the same medal. By practical examples she shows how we can playfully change ourselves, our life and our faith at the same time. Without make-up or costume.
Humor starts with our own person, our attitude towards others, our view on things and our dealing with opinions and positions. The humorous nature enjoys discovering the peculiarity, unusualness and inconsistency in every situation. In short: The funny and odd thing.
The humorous attitude is aware of our limitations and accepts the fact that we are not perfect. By a humorous perspective we get the chance to find a special turn, a new idea in almost every awkward situation.
From a Christian perspective Gisela Matthiae sees humor as an attitude of grace.
Like our Christian faith, humor acts from the assumption of our fallibility – not taking it into account but discovering possibilities for change.
According to the Christian teaching of the justification by grace it is God who looks at the fallible human definately critically, but at the same time also graciously not to say humorously. This perspective releases to a serenity and inspires us to new views and behaviors.
Humor and faith imply plenty of defiance. They both don’t lament over the circumstances or get stuck into a fatalistic mood of doom. Quite the contrary: Despite of all forecasts they are striving for transition.
While humor is counting on creative twists in challenging situations faith is trusting in creative turns and in God’s untapped possibilities.
God surely has a sense of humor as he doesn’t take himself too seriously in his omnipotence. He stepped down to become a human. He is a stepped-down God.
We don’t automatically all have humor by birth, neither are all of us born with faith.
But we own a sense of humor which can be further developed and unfolded. And we also have the chance to cultivate our faith in God during our lives.
„Clowns always have a solution,
even being very unconventional.
Good Friday is followed by Easter.“