I just heard Regina Spektor’s song “Laughing With” while listening to Pandora and, immediately, I had to find the lyrics and listen to it again on YouTube.

The lyrics are:
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one´s laughing at God when they´re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God when the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one´s laughing at God when it´s gotten real late
And their kid´s not back from the party yet
No one laughs at God when their airplane starts to uncontrollably shake
No one´s laughing at God when they see the one they love
Hand in hand with someone else and they hope they´re mistaken

No one laughs at God when the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news sir
No one´s laughing at God when there´s a famine fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they´re ´bout to choke

God can be funny
When told he´ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one´s laughing at God when they´ve lost all they´ve got
And they don´t know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize that the last sight they´ll ever see
Is a pair of hateful eyes
No one´s laughing at God when they´re saying their goodbyes

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they´re ´bout to choke

God can be funny
When told he´ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in a hospital
No one´s laughing at God in a war

No one´s laughing at God when they´re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one´s laughing at God
No one´s laughing at God
No one´s laughing at God
No one´s laughing at God
We´re all laughing with God

I find the whole song intriguing. Sadly, it’s so easy to laugh at God or a “God-themed” joke when with friends. We don’t think it’s that funny though when tragedy strikes. But what intrigues me is what is in the refrain. It almost seems as if Regina Spektor is saying that we’re not laughing at the real, living God – we’re giving God attributes (like a genie or magician) that are not truly in line with the character of God.

God never promised life would be easy, but He is with us each step of the way, including when things are most difficult. Maybe that’s why we can’t/don’t laugh at God when tragedy befalls us, fear grips us and shadows seem to follow us. When those things happen and we’ve nowhere to turn, we’re close to God.

When we’re laughing at the silliness of false ideas about God (genie, magician, Jiminy Cricket, Santa Claus, or that He doesn’t love us), maybe that’s when we’re “laughing with God.” I’d like to think that God has a fantastic sense of humor. Maybe hearing such silly things makes Him laugh just as much as we do.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consensus about what this song really means, but maybe it’s just meant to make us think. I know it’s made me think! Well done, Regina!

Here’s the video:

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