The grace of deep-bellied laughter

Does our theology have space for a Jesus who not only weeps but also laughs?

In The Sacred Journey, Frederick Buechner describes listening to George Buttrick, the renowned scholar, pastor, and preacher. Buttrick describes how Jesus is crowned king, again and again, in the hearts of believers, among “confession, and tears, and great laughter.” Buechner is captivated by this idea of “great laughter,” which he marks as the precipitating moment of his own spiritual conversion:

It was the phrase great laughter that did it, did whatever it was that I believe must have been hiddenly in the doing all the years of my journey up till then. It was not so much that a door opened as that I suddenly found that a door had been open all along which I had only just then stumbled upon.

Reading this always makes me wonder if many of us cannot feel the power of God in our lives because while we have confession and tears aplenty, our lives are often devoid of great laughter. Does our theology have space for a Jesus who weeps and also laughs? Where and how can we experience this great laughter in hard times? In a world that is fraught with division, war, and despair, where can it even be found?