I have a friend who is a lot like me. We both grew up in Michigan. We both have husbands born in the Northeast and who, despite growing up mostly in Florida, clung fiercely to their Northeastern sports franchise loyalties. She has two sports-obsessed sons roughly Will and Nate’s ages (along with two lovely daughters and a baby on the way). Our fourth grade boys have been in the same class since kindergarten, as have our fifth graders, although her fifth grader is a girl and is little Will’s frequent dance partner at school events. This friend loves to read and to chaperone field trips. She and I are less than a year apart. We both avoid the dentist but insist on laughing gas when we do go. We both had a love affair with guacamole and all things avocado until it abruptly ended with the late, inexplicable and cruel onset of an allergy to avocado. She loves Jesus and serves on the board of a private Christian school. I love Jesus and have served on the board of a private Christian school. We belong to the same Bible study and have an untold number of mutual friends. We have similar political views. We belong to the same book club, the same health club, and we both have an insatiable appetite for fad diets. And we both love Cedar Point. Pretty uncanny, huh?
But none of these commonalities glue us together as securely as the simple fact that we crack each other up. Do you have a friend who appreciates your stories as much as you appreciate theirs? Can you sit with this person and alternate between the storyteller and delighted listener in an effortless rhythm. I hope so because it’s utterly therapeutic.
Giving thanks today for the fact that laughter is great relational glue. After all you’ve got to be glued together for the Proverb to apply: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (27:6). We all need friends who can speak the truth in love — how wonderful that God designed it so that the path to deep friendship is so often paved with laughter.