Several clergy in our association of the United Church of Christ gathered today in the center of the city. Inspired by the monks in Burma, we thought it was important to dress in our vestments and stand vigil for peace. It was a wonderful hour. We'll be there every week for one hour -- until the war ends. There were jokes about LL Bean making down robes for us (you know, because it's cold up here). Laughter in the midst of our fears is a wonderful release, isn't it?
Do you remember that song from Mary Poppins? An innocent tea party with Uncle Albert turns into quite the scene. Mary is obviously peeved (even though she sings a refrain). Bert gets into trouble with his heart's desire because he gets swept in the moment. And everyone sings:
The more I laugh
The more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I'm a merrier me
The more I'm a merrier me!
I want to be the merrier me. In the midst of my conversation about feminism with the New Girls, we talked about this desire. Did you hear this? The Wharton School of UPenn says that men are happier than women. It's because men play more than we do. I'm not so sure. I'm also not sure that I'm willing to accept the definitions of feminism that others claim. I'm not sure that my lack of happiness has to do with overwhelming obligation. Now, my clergy sisters, I know that our work is hard. I know that there is a lot that is demanded of us. I know. And yet, I believe in play. I don't want my work to define me (even though I struggle daily with this). I believe in friends and laughter and merriment. I require these things, don't you? And I'll admit it. Most of my friends, laughter and merriment does not come from church. Some of it. I find my work very, very rewarding -- but it is not what sends me to the ceiling giggling like Bert.
So I'm trying to glee in difficult moments. I'm trying to laugh at injustice -- not because I think it's funny but perhaps because that it part of making peace. I'm trying to be brave and laugh at the things that I don't think are the least bit funny. You know, like war and breast cancer. On Friday, I will try to laugh with Songbird as we make a fairy house on Mackworth Island. I will try to giggle and remember what it was like to be a child without focusing on the pain and loss. I will try to be filled with more glee.