Once upon a time a man and a woman fell in love. They were married. And that is where most fairytales end.
But this is no fairytale. This is real life.
The man and the woman got on swimmingly, believing each other to be just the most awesome person in the world. An opinion that would not, and did not, change.
In fact, they were both so terribly convinced the other person was fantastic that they decided to replicate each other to the best of their ability. They did what many other happily married couples do- they had children.
Of course the beginning was hard. And the middle as well. The parenting thing was, as all good parents soon discover, hard. So they tried and prayed and… laughed. Each morning, the Mr. and Mrs. dressed for battle with the day, always sure to clothe their feet with the socks of humor before donning the shoes made ready by the gospel of peace.
But here is where the story turns grim. While the socks of humor always managed to warm their bodies and turn the odor of life into a laughing gas of sorts, there came a day when the Mrs. was tired, just soooo tired. Too tired to concern herself with footwear. So she made a choice. She padded around the house barefoot.
The Mr. noticed. (Right, I know I said it wasn’t a fairytale. Sometimes men do notice the things their wives change.) Maybe this is the thing now, he mused. And like all good husbands do when their wives change something, he waited to see if this was a permanent alteration or just the temporary result of a monthly catalyst.
Each day the Mr. noted his wife’s feet (a blessing to her since her exhaustion also forced her to neglect readying her face with the makeup of effort) and for several days he observed the bare skin of her soles along the hard and dirty floors of her life.
Convinced that this was now how they were doing things, he also removed his humor and peace, and treaded the world on naked feet.
It wasn’t comfortable. It was life raw and cold with all the crumbs of spilled cereal sticking to it. But you know the old saying, “If mama don’t think it’s funny, ain’t nobody supposed to think it’s funny.”
It didn’t take long and the kids followed suit. Each morning they would pack for school in their shivering feet, snapping at each other in their discomfort. Then when they were ready to step out on their way, they would pull on their humor socks, their peace shoes, and walk out the door. They would return hours later, remove their socks and shoes, and live life raw. Humorless.
Each day the same. Each family member dressing in humor and peace for the outside world, then shedding both upon entering their “home”.
No one knows to this day exactly when they all realized this was the wrong way of doing things.
Maybe it was when the Mrs. walked too long on heels too raw and figured perhaps it was just best to amputate the feet altogether. Maybe it was when the Mr. stood helpless, barking at children that were too noisy in their own complaints to hear his message of love and respect.
All the same, it happened. Divine Intervention no doubt.
The Mrs. knocked and the door was opened and she received help. Her calloused and bleeding soles nurtured and mended by the words of love and the hands of healing. (And the acupuncture of attention.) In a short time she could wake and her heart throbbed because her feet didn’t.
She turned to the Mr. who was still just so awesomely awesome to her and he could see it too. And together they mended his feet. Followed by those of their children.
But they knew that if this healing was to continue, they would need to make an effort to protect it. So they resolved to clothe their feet. They searched under their bed, in their closet. They dumped out their drawers, but their socks of humor were as elusive as their children when it was time to empty the dishwasher.
To wear peace alone would be enough they concurred. So they picked up their shoes, slowly slipped in their soft toes, and felt it. There, hidden in the peace, was their humor.
They laughed. Really laughed. After all, it was funny how they turned their lives upside down looking for something that was exactly where it was supposed to be all along. (Admittedly, it is less funny, but just as relieving, when the items in question are the car keys. Or the cell phone. Or the wedding rings…)
That laughter was a miracle. A contagious, infectious, healing miracle.
The children caught on and laughed too. The Mr. and Mrs. smiled. Their resolve to clothe their stinky lives in humor and peace was strengthened by the soul relief that would otherwise become bitter, hard, cemented in life’s grime.
To this day they wake (many days they awaken exhausted) and sometimes the humor socks seem heavy and out of reach, but they put them on anyway. Because making merry makes all the difference when making life.
When was the last time you decided to meet the day with some humor?
What makes you laugh?
Is there a connection in your life between your humor and your peace?
I'd love to hear from you! And stay with me this month for my next big giveaway! Monica won "Interrupted" by Jen Hatmaker and I am thrilled to include you in my next giveaway. Just as soon as I know what it is ;)