I love puns– friends from all over the world send me the craziest puns, “punny” images, silly videos, and awful jokes. Except for those that are patently offensive and find their humor at someone else’s expense, I really enjoy them all.
Someone has said that puns are the lowest form of humor, but I disagree. In fact, I often find that puns, like humor in general, can cause us to explore a serious topic in ways we would otherwise avoid. The image above tickled my funny bone, but it also caused me to think. Where is my Joy? Do I bottle it up and hide it down in my cart, or does it bubble up, iridescent and smelling of sunshine (and possibly lemons) from deep down in my heart?
Prayer is a serious topic, but it shouldn’t be joyless. Even in our troubles, we can be confident that we are loved, cherished, and precious. In our grief and sorrow, we are not overwhelmed (though it often feels as if we are) when we have this kind of joy. It will wash away despair, anger, doubt, and weariness, as it rises up. We pray for so many other things– health, wisdom, forgiveness– we should also pray for Joy. Not the false and fleeting joy of a silly pun, or the veneer of joy that lies and says that “everything is great.” We need the kind of joy that sings through tears, laughs at storms, defies despair, and shakes the rafters! And we need the quiet, blessed assurance that God is in His Heaven and even if all is not well with the world, God still has everything well in hand. Such joy, lodged deep in our heart and soul can keep us from buckling under the weight of loss, the exhaustion of stress, and the threat of chaos. We need a new “Dawn” of “Joy” (yes, I had to include another pun). We need to pray for joy. We need to cherish it. And we need to pass it on.
The world could really use it!