2013-10-04 / Chaplain's News

Matters of Faith

Laugh about it
By Chaplain (Lt.) Nashaunna Sanders
Navy Information and Operations Command Georgia

There was an elderly couple by the name of Sarah and Abram. She was 80 years old and he was 100. They had lived full lives together. They had permanently changed station, as it were, several times and lost touch with friends and family. They had a sign outside their home that said, “Home is wherever we are sent.” In all their years together, they had never had any children. Sarah had certainly had her thoughts and feelings about this. She had probably longed to give her husband a son with Jr. affixed to the end. She may have experienced the grief of hearing her doctor say that she was healthy and to keep trying. She endured the family visits where she was surrounded by pregnant relatives and friends or those with babies to bounce on their knee. She was probably asked, “Sarah, when are you guys going to start your family?”

No one knew the tears that soaked her pillow or the prayers that she prayed. No one knew the hurt of her husband, who could do nothing to console her. So for 80 years, Sarah lived with the thought of ‘what if?’ So you can only imagine the chuckle that came from Sarah when a stranger told her that she would bear a child in her old age.

She laughed. Maybe she laughed to keep from crying. Maybe she laughed because she knew this was preposterous. Dude, seriously, I’m 80. No one in their right mind starts her family at the age of 80. Maybe she laughed to entertain the beautiful notion of having her own sweet bundle of joy to cradle in her arms or to rock to sleep or the rescue off the coffee table before he jumped or for all of the dirty diapers she did not have to change. Maybe she was thinking that God really has a great sense of humor -- an 80-year-old woman with a toddler? No thanks. Maybe she laughed because God remembered her even in her old age. I urge you to, “Look for the humor’ in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you,” says HelpGuide.org.”

Regardless as to why she laughed; she laughed. We all need to laugh more often. Life is serious but we need not take ourselves so seriously. Life will have it ups and downs, ins and outs, instead of losing control, take a step back, breathe deeply and embrace it.

According HelpGuide.org, “Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.” Their article “Laughter is the Best Medicine” states:

• Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

• Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

• Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

• Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

I desire that you prosper and be in good health, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual health. Watch your favorite movie, sitcom, standup comedian, have friends over for dinner, laugh at yourself or a friend with a great sense of humor and let out a hearty chuckle. It is the best medicine for a healthy heart.

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