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Why I Laugh and Smile

As I’m sitting on the couch watching SportsCenter, Caitlin’s beside me reading a book. I’m watching the sports highlights from the day and I notice she’s laughing. I find this odd because I haven’t said anything, so she’s not laughing at me. What could she be laughing at?

I look over and her eyes go right back to her book. Then she laughs again, and I say, “What’s so funny.” She says, “This book’s hilarious.” I go back to the T.V. and she goes back to her book. Ten minutes later she starts laughing again. I look over and she looks at me and we both smile.

She says, “Clayton, you really are going to have to read this book sometime. I think you would really like it, plus, it’s so funny.” Her laugh intrigues me. It makes me wonder what’s so great? It makes me want to know more about this book she seems to love so much.

When I hear Caitlin laugh as she reads, it reminds me of the way I want to live my life. When she’s reading a book she is constantly smiling and laughing. I want my friends and family to look and say what’s so funny. I want people to stop watching TV, stop doing the mundane, and look up to see why I’m smiling.

If I’m living a life that resembles Jesus others will stop the mundane, everyday things to look up and see what’s so exciting. People will pause if only for a moment, like when I hear Caitlin laugh as she’s reading, to see why I’m smiling. I want others to stop and see why I always seem to be laughing.

For a long time, I thought Christianity was about informing people of the right answers. I thought I needed to inform them of “the truth”. Informing people of the truth doesn’t cause people to look up. This causes people to leave the room. No one wants truth vomited all over them.

The longer I attempt to follow Jesus the more I realize Christianity isn’t about having the answers or informing people about what is “right” or “the truth”. Following Jesus is about loving people. When I love and care for people, they look up from their day-to-day activities. They want to see what seems to be so interesting. They try to find where the laughter is coming from.

When I read the stories of Jesus in the Bible, Jesus did way more loving, smiling, and laughing and a lot less informing and answer vomiting. Jesus cared about each person. He wanted everyone to look away from the mundane. He wanted people to look past their daily activities and see something better.

From the Pharisee’s to the thief on the cross Jesus wanted each one to stop what they were doing and notice something better was possible.

Recently I’ve been hearing people say, “Living like Jesus is easy, all you have to do is…” Living like Jesus is anything but easy. The more I follow Jesus the more questions I have. The more I question the closer I move toward Jesus. The closer I move to Jesus the more I’m able to catch the love that Jesus is tossing my way.

What I’m learning is a good indicator to living like Jesus is, “Are other’s stopping the mundane. Do people see that I love and care for them?”

When people feel loved and cared for they will look up because they see something different. They see hope.

People looked up to see Jesus because He was different. No one had seen and heard what Jesus was doing and saying. People noticed Jesus because they saw someone who wasn’t typical, someone who wasn’t ordinary. They saw the embodiment of love.

Today, people look from their Iphone’s when they see people who actually, honestly care and love them, face-to-face, and not just on a screen. I stop what I’m doing when people say, “I care for you.”, “I’m proud of you”, or “I love you.” When people say these things to me it shows me they love and care for me.

I want to show this same love to the people I encounter on a daily basis. When I’m present in people’s lives I want my love for them to cause them turn and see why I’m smiling and laughing.

In what ways can I create moments where the people I’m around see something better?

What can I do for people to see hope?

How can I have a laughing at a book moment today?

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