God, we believe, accepts us, accepts all men, unconditionally, warts and all. Laughter is the purest form of our response to God’s acceptance of us. For when I laugh at myself I accept myself and when I laugh at other people in genuine mirth I accept them. Self-acceptance in laughter is the very opposite of self-satisfaction or pride. For in laughter, I accept myself not because I’m some sort of super-person, but precisely because I’m not. There is nothing funny about a super-person. There is everything funny about a man who thinks he is. In laughing at my own claims to importance or regard, I receive myself in a sort of loving forgiveness which is an echo of God’s forgiveness of me. In much conventional contrition there is a selfishness and pride which are scarcely hidden. In our desperate self-concern, we blame ourselves for not being the super-people we think we really are. But in laughter we sit light to ourselves. That is why laughter is the purest form of our response to God. – From Tensions by H.A. Williams

 

I call to you, O Lord, from my quiet darkness. Show me your mercy and love. Let me see your face, hear your voice, touch the hem of your cloak. I want to love you, be with you, speak to you and simply stand in your presence. But I cannot make it happen. Pressing my eyes against my hand is not praying, and reading about your presence is not living in it.   But there is that moment in which you will come to me, as you did to your fearful disciples, and say, “Do not be afraid; it is I.” Let that moment come soon, O Lord. And if you want to delay it, then make me patient. Amen – From A Cry for Mercy by Henri J.M. Nouwen