Do you wonder why people laugh?
Sometimes, we laugh to relieve tension. A lot of comedy involves creating tension, then breaking it. That's why TV shows like The Office or Modern Family generate laughs ... they're "painfully funny."
But I struggle with this type of humor ... to the consternation of some of my friends. Why do I feel so uncomfortable when a fictional character suffers for our amusement?
I'm susceptible to stories. I get drawn in easily, establish connections with characters and squirm when they're tortured for comedic effect.
This is one of the reasons I love stand-up comedy: you don't develop rapport with stand-up characters and act-outs. The same goes for sketch comedy and improv. Characters cycle through too rapidly to develop a connection deep enough to hurt for them while they make everyone else laugh.
And, although my weakness generates friendly banter, my story-susceptibility can be an asset for God's work. Perhaps it's the price-of-entry I pay to access the worlds offered through fiction. Perhaps it's how God keeps me tender and compassionate toward the stories I hear on campus.
Our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and susceptibilities often show up as the shadow sides of our strengths. I flinch during sitcoms, but care quickly for strangers. There's a gift attached to that pain.
What gifts do you have hiding behind your weaknesses?