The Phenomena of Holy Laughter

One of the common ways in which his Spirit has been moving in some supernaturally-minded circles is through what has been often called, “holy laughter.” Like the time two former students of mine laid down in the back of our sanctuary and couldn’t stop laughing for some 15-20 minutes.

One of my favorite stories of holy laughter comes from a friend of mine. He told me that he was at a conference listening to a speaker when fits of laughter hit a few people in his group without warning. They couldn’t hold it back very well and so it just kept growing. The ushers came to their section and tried to calm them down, but it didn’t work. In fact, the laughter was starting to spread out to the people around them. Within time the laughter had moved throughout the auditorium and much of the audience was now laughing instead of listening.

Strange, isn’t it? Of all the ways God could show up and touch us, he chooses holy laughter as a familiar tactic. I don’t fully get it. “God, why don’t you heal that lady in the wheelchair right there?”

“Just laugh! This is something I care about!”

Who says laughter isn’t healing anyways? Researchers have found that watching a funny video produces gamma waves in the brain. One researcher, Lee Berk, explains that,

Gamma is the only frequency that affects every part of the brain. So when you’re laughing, you’re essentially engaging your entire brain at once. This state of your entire brain being ‘in synch’ is associated with contentment, being able to think more clearly, and improved focus. You know, that feeling of being ‘in the zone’…. There’s no reason [laughing] shouldn’t be prescribed by doctors as part of a gamut of healthy lifestyle changes.

Lee Berk (

So perhaps laughter truly is good for our health. Perhaps it’s just a small taste of that which is to come. Joy is God’s fruit after all, so it makes sense that Heaven would be full of it. Have we ever imagined the new creation that way? Or did we figure we’d just sing serious worship songs for all eternity?

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