'Lord, Grant Us A Good Sense Of Humor'
A few weeks ago a friend and former co-worker passed away. As those of us who knew “Toots” Kunkler reminisced about her life, one subject dominated our conversation—her wonderful sense of humor. As we shared stories of how she sometimes made us laugh until our stomachs hurt, I remarked, “Thank God for those people who can make us laugh!”
“Toots” loved to play light-hearted pranks, tell jokes and just have a good time in general. Many times, if she wanted to “fool” someone, she would engage the help of some of us to pull off the prank. She taught us that we could work hard to complete our job and still have fun. Whether we participated in the prank or were the recipient of her shenanigans, we all laughed together and hard just the same.
Although it has been many years since I have worked with “Toots,” her passing has reminded me of the importance of laughter in our lives. It is so refreshing to be in the company of those who can make us laugh and, likewise, humbling to have the gift of humor to be able to make others laugh. For me, having a sense of humor seems to ease stress and give me a more positive outlook on life. My strongest relationships are with those people that I can have a good laugh with on a regular basis.
Pope Francis himself believes in the importance of a sense of humor, so much so that he prays every day for that very thing. He says, “A bit of good humor is very good for us! It will do us much good to pray Saint Thomas More’s “Prayer for Good Humor’ frequently. I pray it every day, and it helps me.”
Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.
Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humor to maintain it.
Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good
and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil,
but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.
Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments,
nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called “I.”
Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor.
Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy,
and to be able to share it with others. -St. Thomas More
In recent months I have experienced the importance of maintaining a sense of humor in the midst of heartache. My 43-year-old sister, Sue, has been hospitalized for a little more than six months now, having had a stroke that has left her unable to walk, eat or speak. Believe me when I say there are many days the tears flow very freely in my large family. We have commented many times, though, about the importance of not losing our sense of humor during this trying time. Whenever we can, we continue, as we always have, to share humorous stories and to do things to make each other laugh, including Sue. While she cannot laugh out loud, it means the world to see her smile in the midst of her trial.
It is my hope that we might each make an effort to surround ourselves with people who make us laugh and do our part to change the world with some good humor of our own, as did my friend "Toots". In the words of St. Thomas More: "Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humor. Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke to discover in life a bit of joy, and be able to share it with others."
Brenda Hopf is a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Dubois County and also contributes to the “Sharing the Load” column in The Message.