by Leslie Beaman

As a home economics teacher, I have really tried to make an effort through the years to encourage my family to eat rightI have pushed vegetables, salads, fresh fruits, drinking water, etcSadly, I have to admit that I’ve “caved in” in a few areasYes, I confess my younger son really likes cereal, and I have become his willing supplierYes, I know there would probably be more nutrition if he ate the cardboard boxes the cereal came inI guess I’ve hoped the vegetables I’ve pushed on him throughout the week would offset his time-to-time breakfast fixAnyway, back to my story.

I happened to find cereal on sale big time—the store was practically giving it away! (Well, almost!) Anyway, I bought several different kinds and smuggled them into the houseWhen my younger son opened up the pantry door, he turned to me with a big smile, and I said, “The Cereal Santa made a visit.”

My older son, not to be outdone, quickly quipped, “When is the Ice Cream Santa coming?”

I, of course, laughed and inevitably thought of Marlene Evans.

Mrs. Evans loved to laugh! Humor was probably one of her most endearing qualities. She was always so happy and upbeat. I have laughed longer and harder in one day with Mrs. Evans than most people do after watching a week of sitcoms on television. She had a way of making a bad situation not seem so bad. Rainy days were opportunities to jump in puddles or start a fire in a fireplace. Whenever she sensed someone was nervous, she always smiled and said something to break the ice. Usually any awkwardness would quickly fade away.

I remember going on car trips with her in the summertime. It would be 90° outside, and she’d roll down all the windows, open up the moon roof, turn on the air conditioning full blast, and announce, “Now this is living in luxury!”

She also had a “strange” habit of making roads where there weren’t any. Defiantly she would drive her car into places where even a 4×4 Hummer wouldn’t venture! This was usually because she wanted to follow a deer into the woods. I remember driving around with her one day looking for tornado damage. I still don’t know what exactly she was looking for, but it sure was fun!

Some of the funniest times were “getting lost”—something she did a lot. She’d be deep into a conversation and pass an exit and then laugh as we spent hours finding our way back.

I loved to make Mrs. Evans laugh. Once she picked up a line from an Anne of Green Gables book that went something like this: “Precious little in this world amuses me, but Anne girl, you amuse me!” She used to say it to me from time to time when I did something she thought was funny. I would have to say after all these years, I still miss her. I miss her laughter. I miss laughing with her. Precious little in this world amuses me, but Marlene, old girl, you amused me!

I know we all live busy lives. I know many of us have heavy burdens from time to time, but I believe humor is one of the tools God has given to us to help lighten our hearts and keep our joy intact. If only we would use it more often….

1. One of the greatest evidences of a Spirit-filled life is joy.  Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

2. Laughter is a medicine. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” A merry heart is a medicine not only to a sick body, but also to a broken heart, emotional hurts, etc.

3. A sense of humor is a gift from God. Use it to show the world that being a Christian is the most exciting life one can choose.