I came home that night and called my ha-ha funny cousin Julius. I told him to be prepared. When I was up at the podium, the night of the Bar-Mitzvah, I would look for him. He should do something that would make me laugh, so I wouldn’t cry.

This is what happened. Craig began chanting his , and the tears welled up. I found my red-haired cousin front and center. He had a giant grin on his face and an open pants zipper, with only one finger sticking out, wiggling a little hello. His obscene gesture at a very holy moment, was exactly what I needed to regain my composure and enjoy one of the best nights of my life.

Whether it’s a random act of funny or a planned stunt like Julius concocted, laughter can elevate your spirits and bring you closer to those around you. As a keen observer of relationships, I’ve noticed, the happiest couples are the ones who can make one another chuckle. In fact, if it were up to me, I would insist that the chuckle test be given to every commitment-bound couple.

I’ll take it one step further. You have a sacred commitment with the Divine. Why not apply the  chuckle theory to your prayers? Too often, I talk to people who think that prayer is something you pull out only at times of desperation. They recite very serious, boring prayers in a language from another age; and they wonder why their worship experience is not fulfilling. Don’t keep wit out of your prayers. Your personality is who you are. Share it with the One who knows you best.


I’m getting the idea
You know what the heck You’re doing.

You made me funny, fickle,
sometimes feral,
but You know I always
find my way back to center.

You gave me the quirks I possess,

like a penchant for pointless puns;
a black thumb unable to sustain even a ficus,
and a heart as wide as the sky.

Measuring myself against others who aren’t me
is like saying I don’t trust You.
My greatest idiosyncrasy
is that I’ve never met You,
but trust You with my life and all I hold dear.
Walk together with me, whatever may come.