Manchester, England.  The severe famine in South Sudan.  Syria.  Drug cartels.  Gang violence and homelessness.  Roughly 10 percent of the population in Pitkin County, Colorado live below the poverty line.  Times are beyond tough and as followers of Jesus we have much to do and many actions to take along with surrounding all sources of pain and despair with continual robust prayer.

Yet in the midst of all of this, there are the boundless loving actions people engage in everyday to help out friends, family members, and complete strangers.  Indeed life is a complete mixed bag, always has been and will be.

I believe it is essential in the midst of responding to the tough realities that surround us, it is important to keep a sense of humor and not take ourselves too seriously.  While humor can be defensive and shield us from pain, it also can be a helpful habit that is not defensive, but rather enables us to continue to respond to the needs around us.

Perhaps for this reason, recently, I have begun to enjoy silly solar powered objects.  Like a solar powered Sumo wrestler or a solar powered Einstein.  Such objects distract me, lighten my spirit, and foster creative thinking about how to respond to the crises that surround us.

Each of us is unique and therefore what we find funny and humorous will vary between us.  That said, I encourage each of us to intentionally seek out and engage humor as a habit of faith.  A habit that can energize us to do more each day for those who are hurting.  As Mark Twain once said, “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.”