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There is an intensity about life right now.

The news is intense. A Global pandemic is spreading across the globe. We are seeing new daily records set globally, and of course, south of our border. Masks or no masks? How’s the vaccine going? Will there be a second wave? Will BC really continue to weather this as well as we have so far?

Civic unrest. Racial tensions. Ethics inquiries on the Prime Minister. Growing debt. Economic recession. A growing Mental Health crisis. Drug overdoses – the last few months have been the worst yet in BC.

If you are like me – your mind is often thinking about pretty intense things.

Then – have you also noticed how intense our interactions can be as well?

Conversations and interactions – can all be quite intense right now. They tend to be very intentional, very focused. Much of that is good – we are checking in on each other. We are probing – and perhaps even finding ourselves more honest and more vulnerable than we were months ago.

And then – some of us – to top it all off . . . are just pretty intense people. We do life intensely. I will wear that shoe, as it does fit .

In times like this – we can lose a sense of play, of laughter, of lightness.

And our mental health can suffer as a result.

In a recent Sanctuary Podcast, Pastor Alastair Sterne talks about the importance of play right now. Play can be one of the main things that can help us right now. Finding playful spaces and playful moments in our day can be so soul-restoring.

We need these moments to be laughing and playing – moments that may in fact become an essential part of our wellbeing and wellness as we navigate life right now.

Playing. Laughing. They help remind us that life is still good. Savouring these moments of play and laughter can help us savour that goodness.

Alastair comments – “Scripture gives this picture of a joyful God who delights in creation. I love the Psalm that says he plays with leviathan, you know God at play, God sharing joy . . .”

God invites us to join Him in being at play – sharing laughter – finding joy. Even while we live through a global pandemic. Or maybe we might better say – especially while we live through a global pandemic.

Alastair goes on to say – “we can’t handle the seriousness of this pandemic, like we literally can only think about it so long . . . and so levity, laughter, humour are necessary during this time.” That resonates. A lot.

He mentions a resource - a Jesuit priest named James Martin, great writer who wrote a book called Between Heaven and Mirth – it’s an exploration of joy, and humour and laughter and its role in spirituality.

I can’t help but think of my kids. They worked together to get me a “Spikeball” set for my birthday recently. An invitation to play. I’m not very good at it yet. We even laughed over dinner last night – watching a YouTube video of professional Spikeball players (yes it’s a thing). The laughter was good.

It’s time to make more space and room in my life for play. For laughter. For levity.

What about you?

-Pastor Tim