A few days ago, I spent the evening with a group of friends. There was much laughter, as a friend sculpted a butter cat, we all sniffed the lavender handsoap, the guys confessed their love for Julie Andrews as Maria in The Sound of Music, we tried to guess one another's middle names, and answered random Loaded Questions cards that led to disclosures about the embarrassing things we own.
We also discussed various ways to interpret the Old Testament, talked about why we were Liberal, or Republican, or Libertarian, whether or not our country needs the Federal Reserve, and what is the true nature of the Christian gospel and how do we treat those Christians who profess belief in a different gospel version.
I left that evening absolutely invigorated by both the frequent tear-inducing laughter and the depth of our theological and political conversations. I thought about how rare it must be to experience those two different types of interactions throughout hours of discussion, but then I realized that such a dichotomy is false because the two share the same origins.
Both are facilitated by the abandonment of pretense and judgement, the comfort with oneself that allows for complete openness, and the true acceptance of others the embraces both their utter silliness and their complete honesty in sharing their opinions about weighty matters. Both the light-hearted and the weighty matters spring from the same spirit of authenticity, and when the two are freely shared, the light-hearted utterances are given more weight as they represent the freedom to be and the weighty matters become lighter as we are allowed to laugh at ourselves and question our beliefs even while expressing deeply held convictions.
I crave more times like these, times when I can engage with others both in our utter absurdity and profundity.