On the other side of funny


Laughter is the best medicine after all

Life is good. Maybe you have forgotten, but it is true. I’ve done some crazy, fun things in my life which took a lot of energy, so it would be natural to lament my current physical limitations. Then I realize some of my funniest memories are from an escalator, an elevator and a bathroom. I’ll tell you about the bathroom.


My grandmother laughed until tears rolled down her cheeks whenever she recounted the story of her sister-in-law saying, “Excuse me,” when she bumped into her own reflection in the mirror. Maybe it was amusing when my aunt apologized to herself,  but watching my grandmother get tickled was hysterical. She knew how to laugh.

My family tends to tell and retell stories we think are hilarious. Often they aren’t funny to others but we laugh so hard we cannot breathe.


When my kids were young, our normally upbeat family was glum after we we suffered compounded losses. One of my kids suggested we skip, because…

you skip when you are happy, so let’s skip and maybe we will be happy.

We did. Although it was after dark, we held hands and skipped down the street to the corner .Don’t you wonder what the neighbors thought? Instantly our burdens and our spirits lifted.

Philippians 4:8-9, “Summing it all up, friend, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you to his most excellent harmonies.” MSG

Laugh. It changes your attitude and maybe your life #laughter #goodmedicine Click To Tweet


A few months into practicing medicine, one of the senior partners said, “I can hear you all day.” Yikes! I raised my eyebrows. As a gynecologist, thin walls can be a problem. What exactly did he hear? He reassured me he could not hear what was said, but rather he heard me laughing all day. It was good medicine, for both of us.

Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” HCSB


It’s really not that funny but we were on a high after we spent the day at Beth Moore (as if it is a destination). Inspired by the women’s conference, most of the 20,000 attendees subsequently went to the mall. In the department store along with eight hundred other women, we headed straight for the bathroom. The line tracked out the door and just as my sister inched inside, we cracked up. Whatever she said was not particularly funny, but we totally lost it. As we enjoyed the revelry, the door closed and left her in the bathroom with other waiting women. Let’s just say they were a little more somber than we were. Meanwhile, the whole scenario got funnier and funnier to those of us outside. Every time we tried to open the door and enter we cracked up again as my sister glared from the inside.


While we were outside enjoying the inside joke,  she was trapped inside but outside of the joke. She got trapped on the wrong side of funny. You know, she could have opened the door and stepped out and joined the fun, instead she remained in her predicament.

Psalm 126:2, “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.'” ESV


Life isn’t always funny, trust me I know. Sometimes it is tough and sometimes you get trapped on the wrong side of funny. Laughter is not always appropriate, sometimes grief is the correct emotion. Either way though, it’s better if we do it together.

If you cannot find anything to laugh about, maybe try skipping.

Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” KJV


Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of funny? If everyone else seems to be having a great time and you are stuck in a stinking bathroom, come to the other side. Open the door and walk out. I know it is not simple to change your circumstances, your outlook or your attitude. Start with a laugh. It can’t hurt and it’s about time.

Ecclesiastes 3:4, “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” NIV

I hope it is time to dance. By the way, my mother thinks the chicken picture is hilarious, but then again she is easily amused.

13 thoughts on “On the other side of funny

  1. I have a sister-in-law who skips when in the presence of her children needing discipline. For the younger, he begins to skip with her. For the teenager, the effect is priceless. Laughing in life is necessary. Sometimes the best laughter is at ourselves! Some see it odd when I laugh during my recent days, yet admit they are glad I can. During those difficult moments, it can make the difference in sinking or surviving.

  2. these are great reminders!! thanks for sharing, you are always an inspiration. May the Lord continue to bless you, abundantly, above, and exceeding all your expectations!!

  3. Love it when you have to laugh so hard you can’t stop. Even better when no else gets it and thus contributes to the inability to stop laughing. My twin sister and I experience this when we get together. I’m going to be with her soon as she undergoes a major surgery. I suspect even in that we might have a crazy moment or two. She follows your blog and I’m sure will enjoy this one and we’ll look for the special moments in her difficult circumstance.
    Love the chicken as well…kind of a morning mirror look! Haha

  4. I remember a time being so depressed with my physical limitations that it almost hurt to hear my wife laughing. She would watch comedy shows on TV and enjoy herself. My inability to laugh was part of a very deep depression that I am glad is over. It still takes a lot to make me laugh but I am grateful when it happens. Teaching guitar / music classes gives me plenty of opportunities to have fun and even laugh. I am happy teaching and most of the laughing is over my mistakes trying to teach a simple technique. I have to slow down what I play so my students learn and it is at those times I make big mistakes. We all laugh because it is funny to see the teacher make a mistake and start laughing about it. With music I often laugh at my own mistakes. ………☮ph

  5. I miss hearing your laughter through the walls. I always thought that I was a lucky person to have such a cheerful dr. It helped many times. Thank you for all you do and are still doing for me and everyone.

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