Does God Laugh?

Welcome to Real Life. Does God laugh out loud? I never pictured him so. I imagined him stern and sober. 

Sharing a laugh (and ice cream) with my son
Yet, he created us with a sense of humor. God endowed us with the capacity for over-the-top, jumping up and down joy. We bear his image. I dearly love to laugh. Why, then, should I consider it strange to imagine God enjoying a full belly laugh?

Part of the barrier that blocked me from experiencing God’s love was the way I imaged him. He is holy. And holiness has a reputation for quietness, solemnity, and seriousness—no goofing around.

When I was still a young believer in Christ, my sister Terre and I visited a friend’s church to hear a guest evangelist. Somehow, we got the service time wrong. We arrived late. As we entered the sanctuary, it was jam-packed for the special speaker. The preacher was already rising to speak. Our friend was impossible to locate in the crowd. Since all the rear pews were full, the only open seats lay conspicuously in the center of the church, mid-pew. We excused our way to the open seats, trying not to be too disruptive.

Not long after we sat down, the evangelist reached full throttle. He darted about the platform, preaching with intensity and conviction. For added emphasis, he punctuated each phrase with a strong, guttural, “Huh!

Raised in a conservative church, Terre and I had never experienced a preacher like this. Much to our chagrin, we found his style comical. Though we bit our cheeks, trying with all our might to contain it, the dike cracked. A giggle escaped. Then, more giggles followed. Heads began to turn, bestowing stern frowns. This only fueled the hilarity. 

Finally, unable to contain our mirth any longer, we fled. Terre and I stumbled over purses and toes to the aisle. Then, raced down the aisle and pushed through the rear doors of the sanctuary. Safely out of ear shot, our laughter burst out like a flood—deep, loud, and hard.

How did God view these two young ladies who disrupted a church service? (To clarify, our laughter held no malice. We were not mocking the preacher. We simply found his unusual style humorous.) For years, I believed God mirrored the other mature adults in the congregation, bestowing frowns of disapproval and condemnation. However, today, I believe he smiles over the incident. That Sunday evening long ago, he may have even joined us in a full belly laugh.

Now, I understand that everything God created is good. Laughter is good. It can even be holy. Laughter physically expresses joy. There are a great many things I look forward to experiencing in the kingdom to come. One of them is hearing the sound of my Savior’s laughter.

“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” C.S. Lewis

What do you think?  Does God laugh out loud? 


  1. I'm quite sure God laughs out loud. After all, we are entertaining creatures. Some of the best sermons I have heard have been ones that have made me laugh. I doubt very seriously that God wants us to be grim all the time.

    You may want to read the book, God Game by Fr. Andrew Greeley.

    1. Thanks, Friend, for stopping by. I like your confidence in God's sense of humor. Thanks for the book suggestion.


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