We just returned from a trip to Florida where our two, grown, male children live. I would have said boys, but they are both in their 40s now. I felt I should give them their adult props. Now that I have done that, however, they are still our boys.
That fact is never more evident than when the three of us guys get together. When that happens, all three of us make a quick transition from men to boys (not to be confused with the boy band, Boyz II Men). We spend most of our time yucking it up together. Suddenly, everything seems funny. If something is not so humorous, we tend to turn it into a joke anyway. Consequently, our times together are always memorable—sometimes, epic.
Back in the Day
Back in the day, when my Dad was still living, he and his older brother (my uncle, obviously) would often get together. The result was much the same as happens today with my boys and me. I can remember my Mom intently listening to them laughing so hard that it appeared as though they might wet their pants. On one occasion, she said aloud to no one in particular, “Listen to them. They’re laughing like fools!” And, indeed, they were.
There’s nothing quite like a good laugh. I suppose we Zuchelli boys take it to the extreme. But, somehow, I get the feeling that we’ll live a tad longer because of it (unless, of course, we literally split a gut someday). Laughing until we cry is a common occurrence among us.
I remember, several decades ago, listening to a Christian comedian who was speaking about the Body of Christ. He said that some of us were the feet, others the eyes, and still others the ribs. He then announced that he was the laugh. He was extremely funny, so I bought it. It just fit. Sometimes I feel like there should be a portion of Scripture that says, “And God made them laugh—and it was good.”
A Cheerful Heart
There is a line in the book of Proverbs that says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine…” (Proverbs 17:22). I’m guessing that there is, at least, a loose connection between a cheerful heart and laughter. A cheerful heart would be more prone to laughing, and laughing might bring cheer to an otherwise mournful heart. Either way, laughter (in general) is probably a good thing.
In Genesis, Sarah named her son, Isaac. All you Bible scholars out there already know that Isaac means laughter. I don’t particularly like the name, Isaac, but I wouldn’t mind being named “Laughter.” There’s something uplifting about the whole idea.
I’m not going to change my name at this late stage, but maybe I can inspire someone else to find a good word (from another language, maybe) that would capture that thought. You might be doing your child a favor by laying that moniker on him or her. What could it hurt? That child might even bring joy to all those around.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]