At first glance, this seems incompatible—or at least marginal—for a ministry life dedicated to caring for souls. In reality, however, laughter is God’s good gift, and maybe especially sweet to those who wrestle daily with eternal issues.
Laughter can be elusive in ministry. The people for whom I have the deepest love, from whom I draw the greatest spiritual encouragement, and with whom I spend the most time before the Throne are the people in our church. We are committed to a long-term pilgrimage together. These people are wonderful, they have
brought much joy to our hearts, and they are also work.
At this stage of my life, some of my favorite PINRF are the members of a local adoptive families group. We gather with our children once a month to share our stories, talk about adoption, and eat international food. This is a great stage for smiles.
Here’s why I’m thankful to occasionally break bread with PINRF:
• They welcome you as a fellow mom, employee, volunteer, blogger, baker, or runner. Something (anything!) other than the Person in the Front Pew.
• They don’t take what you say as an official statement. Of course we always seek to speak the truth in love as in Ephesians 4:15, but it’s nice to be exempt from ex cathedra status.
• They don’t expect you to fix anything. Whether they are discussing doctrine or divorce, they see you as a friend.
Although there’s no EHarmony for locating a perfect PINRF match, the Lord graciously places them in the staff lounge, in your child’s class, and in the house next door. Keeping our eyes open for them can be a refreshing way to make room in life for simple laughter.But for bread with laughter, there’s something special about the fellowship of friends I mentally call People I Am Not Responsible For (or PINRF). These are the people outside the bounds of this ministry who can enhance pilgrimage with playfulness. They are a blessing from the Lord, an occasional treat, a cherry on the top.