You know how you get a song bit stuck in your head—an earworm? It’s never the whole song, right? Just a phrase on an endless loop going round and round, popping into your head at the most inopportune moments in an especially annoying form of neuronal high-jacking!

For me, there was one musical in particular that embedded song bits deeply into my developing childhood hippocampus…the original Mary Poppins movie released in 1964. Fifty-five years later, I still cannot get one of those pesky Disney songs out of my head: I Love to Laugh, sung by chimney-sweep Bert and his Uncle Albert. As Bert joins in with Albert’s hilarity, they both find themselves floating up to the ceiling. The more they laugh, the higher they float. Their laughter is contagious and full of affection towards one another.

I love to laugh (ha ha ha ha!)
Loud and long and clear
I love to laugh (ho ho ho ho!)
It’s getting worse every year


The more I laugh, the more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I’m a merrier me
The more I’m a merrier me

How about you? When was the last time you laughed with a friend? Not just a little chuckle, but a belly-ripper. The kind where you’re so caught off guard in the moment that your drink blows out of your nose, tears stream down your face, and you get wheezy trying to catch your breath. (And maybe even pass a little gas.)

When we think about the qualities of a healthy friendship, a sense of humor—with contagious laughter— has to be right up there with things like presence and honesty. Laughter releases endorphins. In particular, laughter releases oxytocin, one of the key hormones in healthy bonding-attachment. Oxytocin creates a feeling of well-being and safety, leading to greater vulnerability and connection in the relationship.

While we don’t have any direct scriptures telling us, “Jesus laughed,” can you even conceive of an intense comradery with a motley crew of 12 guys like the disciples without there being some humorous moments? And Jesus was a master storyteller, so it’s not hard to imagine some funny stories in the mix of their friendship. Or some bonding laughter as they journeyed from city to city.



Who’s there?

Find a friend.

Find a friend who?

Find a friend who you can laugh with!

(You’ll be a merrier you!)


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