For as long as I remember, I always wanted to be a comedian. I find humour in almost everything and if I do not always amuse others I do amuse myself! This desire comes at a price. Early on I did not keep a rein on my biting sense of humour and it got me in trouble at home and at school. Looking back, I was seldom a “bad” kid, but I was constantly in trouble. I have spent countless hours standing in the hall outside the principal’s office. My clowning came at a high price sometimes but heedless of the cost I persisted. Many thought I would never amount to anything and I seemed determined to prove them right! I guess you could say “I was laughing all the way to the food bank.” Seeing and commenting on the lighter side of things became a heavy burden.
For a time I decided to become serious about being serious. I failed! It is just not in me. Then early one day as I was thinking about sun rise “It dawned on me!” I had an epiphany. I had just enrolled at the Church Army Training College and found myself with my fellow students, standing at a busy street corner in Toronto. We were there to ‘witness’ to the rush hour commuters as they waited for a bus. Some of my fellows were gifted musicians and they got to display their talent. Because I had no talent I was assigned to orate! It was then that it dawned on me that I did have a talent. That my desire to see the amusing side of things might be God given. I could use my powers for good and for God! No one on that busy corner was as changed that day as me.
Comics often speak more truth through humour than you hear in many lectures. I began to hone the skill of telling truth through humour. God has the most amazing sense of humour: just look at the ostrich, platypus or gaze in a mirror! The scriptures are replete with this facet of God’s character. Gideon is called “A mighty man of valour” as he cowers in a wine press. Jonah is vomited on shore as a missionary to Nineveh, Peter is nicknamed “the Rock”. The Bible is full of whimsy which makes it all the more winsome.
To laugh or even smile requires that we let our guard down. It is my goal that by making people smile I prepare the way for the Good News to be received. It is with a sense of humour, usually of the self-deprecating kind, that I win a hearing with my friends on the streets. It also works in pulpit, though like most comics I have sometimes “died” out of even these ashes God can bring life!
I do not mean to communicate that I am frivolous! I am in great earnestness to communicate with power the message of God’s love for frail and fallen humanity. The empty tomb represents that God has the last laugh and we all know that he who laughs last laughs best!
If you can’t bring yourself to guffaw at least smile today, God loves you!