After reading these words from the marquis of the Los Angeles Laugh Factory I had to wonder if Robin Williams really was making God laugh; right now. Perhaps he’s been doing it for years.
God made Robin Williams. No doubt with a smile on his face, God came up with the idea of this very unique human being; deeply sensitive and aware, able to creatively connect seemingly ordinary things in hilarious, outrageous, manic and brilliantly funny ways!
God made Robin Williams – according to the bible – in his image. Which, I guess, means that God too has a great sense of humor.
You may have never considered that before. Looking at the church, those serious icons of Christ that have been crafted over time or reading the Old Testament stories of Noah or the battle of Jericho, it’s easy to think of God as anything but funny. But is that a fair or complete picture of the Maker of all things (including humor)?
Look at Jesus. While it’s hard to see his humor with 21st century eyes (2000 years is a long time for a joke to hold up!) many theologians think it was certainly there; in his parables and through his use of hyperbole. When Jesus t0ld the story of the lost sheep to the self righteous Pharisees – likening them to the despised vocation of shepherds – they would have been upset and the people in the surrounding crowd delighted. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a slam on religious leaders that would have made many smile. You can just see them putting their hands over their mouths at Jesus’ irreverent jab! Then there was the time when Jesus poked fun at all of the petty legalisms of the Pharisees; so worried about minutiae while losing sight of what mattered most, “You blind guides, you strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:24). The audience would have split a rib when he said those words! And maybe Jesus even cracked a smile.
G. K. Chesterton once said, “I’ve often thought that the gigantic secret of God is mirth.”
So maybe Robin Williams is cracking God up right now.
And perhaps, between jokes, he’s also finding some answers regarding all of the pain and suffering that came with his laughter. Maybe God’s prophetic promise to Job has now come true for Williams, “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21)
Surely God knew and felt the depths of Robin Williams’s suffering. God knows what its like to carry pain that eventually kills you. And God knows that pain is not the last word. Perhaps that’s the performance ending punchline that he’s sharing with Williams right now.