Where have we been so far? In my introductory post, Toward a Manifesto of Silliness, I wrote that I asked my family: "What makes silliness important?" The first answer: Silliness Is a Sign of Joy. Today, we're meditating on our second answer: Silliness is important because we are Silly.
As I explained about the first answer, this one also found me at a loss. It was a probing kind of answer, and, as we'll see in later posts, it's where I'm headed with all this nonsense. But hang with me here for now.
Isn't the circular nature of this answer fitting? Silliness is important because we are silly; we are silly because it's important. As an argument, this circular kind rests at the peak of hilarity -- it's silly. And yet, the very nature of what we're discussing here requires a deep presupposition that can't be explained anyway. So we're fine with circular if you are.
"Look around you," my son seemed to say. "Aren't WE silly?! WELL THEN?!"
And somehow we don't need further explanation. The intimate nature of it won't allow us to ask much more of an answer like that -- but maybe there's more to this if we allow ourselves to reflect on the "we" part. Let's look at some of the we(s) we might have in mind.
Silly children. As long as we're being logical, we may as well begin here -- and this is a strong "we" isn't it? Children are silly, therefore it's important to be silly. That's the claim. Right away we see more clearly: "Ah, it's you, isn't it?" This is what we should say to the children. "Yes, you are important." In Mark's gospel, chapter 10, Jesus was "indignant" with his followers when they tried to stop children from coming to him. And then he "took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them." He even said his kingdom belongs to those who receive it as they do.
Let's pause here to try to see the looks on their faces as Jesus picks them up. WELL THEN?!
Silly humans. Children DO grow up, I suppose. Generally. But let me get right to the point: The more I think on it, the more I come to the conclusion that the silliest verse in the Bible is this: "For God so loved the world." Sometimes I ask him, "THIS world, Lord? Why us?" A close second is found in Genesis: "...in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." What? Why would God do such a thing? Grown up humans don't exactly inspire a logical explanation for these two verses, do they? I reflect on these things, and I come up with more questions than answers -- but then there's this: God's love is all about grace. And the silliest act of all of cosmic history is what Jesus did on the cross.
Silly God-followers. Jesus smiled upon the children, and God loves us even when we grow up -- have you really heard those things? Heard them enough to know them with everything you do? Enough to recognize you're important enough to God to die for? You're important enough to be silly with? Your God will spin you in circles until you laugh yourself breathless. Oh, yes, he will! Why are you important? I don't know, because he said so.
Yes, we're going around and around and around -- and now we're dancing and laughing! Do you get it yet?