Monday, September 19, 2011

The "Gospel Giggles"

Have you ever heard a cicada and laughed? Have you ever thought about the idea that the green grass we walk upon, the kind that turns brown in the winter and drought, and shoots to life in the spring practically overnight, is personally attended to, blade by blade, by God? Ha. I hadn't. Today, though, something was different.

I got up this morning at six a.m., groaning as my dad, who has been helping me wake up in the mornings (at my behest) gently encouraged me to awake, reading from my body language that getting out of bed was the last thing I actually wanted to do. Finally, to placate him, I got up, got dressed, and headed down to the living room to recline on the couch and read a Psalm before curling up for another 45 minutes. The battle against myself continues, morning by morning (Pray for me!). At 7, I left my house, and headed to school, driving through fog so thick that I couldn't see what color the streetlights were till I was almost in the intersections. I love fog. I love how impenetrable it is, how the sun burns it away as if it were nothing more than a flimsy curtain on a radiant stage. 
At school, I read another Psalm, and remembered my neediness (as for me, I am poor and needy). Without much time for further delving, I headed into Spanish class. Exiting another 50 minutes later, I delivered a long overdue birthday present to a friend and then headed to the computer lab to take the open-book quiz due for my history class that morning. On the way, I got several texts from my brother: "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever." (Jude 24, 25) Not overly enthused, but aware of the power encompassed in those words, I told Johnny I'd do my best to "try and chew on it." Habitual sin, the kind that I battle with, has a way of sapping the energy to pursue Christ out of me. 
Something happened, though, as the day went on. I noticed it as I walked to and from my next two classes: joy. Elation. I was noticing little things and being tickled by how marvelous they were. The leaves on the trees. The veins on my arm. The freckles on my classmate's face (okay, weird, I know). A smile, one I knew was cause for quizzical looks from passersby, grew larger and more noticeable. Onward through my day I journeyed, to the Bible study with my family on campus, Koinonia.
Today we discussed who God is. Oh my goodness. Have you ever tried to think about how huge a topic that is? Think about it. Now, realize how impossible it is to comprehend. Such was my conclusion as my small discussion group looked up the verses on our handout that were listed about God. As we talked about the holiness of God, about his infinite being, about his radical forgiveness, about his choice to give us the choice to choose him or death...I had no ability to do anything but laugh. Have you ever tried to truly understand how ridiculous it is that we have been given the ability to enter into the family of the most powerful being in existence, the ONE who created everything we know and take for granted? Keep trying. 
As my brain scrambled for the rest of the study to wrap my mind around how unjustly merciful to me God is, I began noticing little things;  there were cicadas buzzing (hilarious!), the grass was cool beneath my feet (ha!), the veins in my arms are carrying the blood that keeps me alive (ohmygoodness)! At that point, I was through. The rest of my day has been full of giggling.
I have walked through the hallways, laughing at the brilliancy of the music in my headphones. 

I have yelled for joy on the highway with the windows down at the greatness of His joy and mercy. 

We played volleyball tonight, and at times, there were moments when I have gotten upset and angry in the past at the low level of play and seriousness in my teammates. Tonight, I laughed at the individual greatness of each of their personalities (Team Giggle? How apt, Grosdidier!). 

I have smiled, over and over again, at how He orchestrates every single little thing in my life. Those tiny beard hairs that make up my beard? He causes each one to grow, at its location and length, on my face. HA! My mind is in overdrive, today. What is better than to see all of the little things that make up the manifold, unmerited, HUGE grace of God? One thing: the huge thing that makes all of the little things hold meaning. Jesus died. 
Can you understand the truth that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly? There are many ways to react to that truth, and today, mine has been wonder. Laughter. Joy. I am filled with a joy that I do not deserve and did nothing to receive. 
The laughter (mostly to myself in small spurts of uncontrolled giggling) that has made my day so liveable today is of a kind that I have never known before. My prayer is that I will continue to see just how amazing all of the little gifts that I do not notice normally are, that my eyes would continue to be opened to the brilliance of an ant, to the whisper of the wind, to the individual grains of sand that we trod so thoughtlessly in multitudinous games of volleyball. These things are portholes into the ocean of God's personality, keyholes into the whimsy of His creativity. They are gifts, wrapped individually and unmistakably in a different color and shape and texture of wrapping paper. I should never run out of things to giggle at. I should never have reason to stop smiling without obvious cause. There's an ocean in an ant. 


  1. The joy of the Lord is our strength! I know the kind of joy you are experiencing- and it IS SO WONDERFUL! and so undeserved, which makes it even more wonderful! It just blows my mind and makes me so thankful to God for the wonderful gift of Joy that He chooses to bless His children with! God is so amazing!

  2. I like this. A lot. May He continued to grant you (and all of us) this kind of joy.

    And I'm praying still for your early morning wakings. :)

  3. YES! YES! YES! (can i scream it some more?)doesn't the hugeness of God just make you ecstatic? how infinite, holy, burning, passionate Love humbled Himself to become the lowest of the lowly and died so that people who were incapable of loving could know Love beyond imagining --- and that death itself was too microscopically tiny to hold Him? my goodness, He is just mind-boggling. i hope you are forever at the mercy of the Gospel giggles, peter.

  4. Good. good. good. Now if only I could hear a cicada laugh and see an ant carry the ocean...

    God is beautiful. So glad he revealed those things to you today in such a tangible way. May it always be!

    "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

  6. This is wonderful. In every imaginable way :)

  7. I love this. Usually I get the "gospel giggles" when God shows me how utterly stupid and stubborn I've been! Haha, it is always a wonderful thing because I'm able to repent and laugh with God.