In The Sacred Romance, Eldredge quotes and then reflects on a piece from Frederick Buechner’s Telling Secrets:
“Starting with the rather too pretty young woman and the charming but rather unstable young man, who together know no more about being parents than they do the far side of the moon, the world sets in to making us what the world would like us to be, and because we have to survive after all, we try to make ourselves into something that we hope the world will like better than it apparently did the selves we originally were. That is the story of all our lives, needless to say, and in the process of living out that story, the original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us hardly end up living out of it at all. Instead, we live out all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world’s weather.”
Think about the part you find yourself playing, the self you put on like a costume. Who cast you in this role? Most of us are living out a script that someone else has written for us. We’ve not been invited to live from our heart, to be who we truly are, so we put on these false selves hoping to offer something more acceptable to the world, something functional. We learn our roles starting very young and we learn them well.
If God’s current role in our lives is anything, it’s Restorer. His pursuit after us has the goal of restoring the relationship to what it was in Eden. A fringe benefit of this is of course eternal life; what makes this intimate relationship possible is forgiveness of sins; a proper response from us is holy and obedient living. But all of those stem from His great desire for fellowship and intimacy with His lovers.
And when we get that, our mourning is turned to dancing. Our weeping is turned to laughing. Our sadness is turned to joy. The stress and pressure lift and performance is no longer necessary. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. In His presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forever more.
And that, my friends, is why laughter breaks out when a bunch of Jesus-obsessed crazies get together to fellowship and worship God.