Humor is a good slice of life, even in the Bible

By Joan Clayton

I think God has a sense of humor. I like to read 1 Kings 18:22-39. The wicked King Ahab had brought his followers to Mount Carmel to confront Elijah. They each made a sacrifice and Elijah told them to call on their god and he would call on the Lord.

The people called on Baal all morning but there was no answer. “At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (I find these statements amusing.)

The people moaned and groaned until evening. When Elijah prayed, the fire of the Lord burned the sacrifice and the people cried, “The Lord—he is God!”

Another case in point regarding humor is in Proverbs 16:17, “Interfering in someone else’s quarrel as you pass by is like grabbing a dog by the ears.” (NCV)

The way to have humor is stated in Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine…” Don’t you love to be greeted by a cheerful person? It’s like he or she has given you “pain relieving” medicine.

Laughter is one of the healthiest things we can do. It gives a healthy workout to our bodies.

Sometimes all we can do is laugh. I had many hilarious things happen in 31 years of teaching. I also had many hysterical events in the rearing of three lively boys. One of the funniest memories of all is about incidents that happened when our boys were very young.

One year our new house was chosen to be on the Home Beautiful Tour. With three boys under six, you can imagine the excitement of it all.

The first boo-boo occurred one morning with the ringing of the doorbell. Our pastor had come to see our new baby. “Oh!” I screamed, “I must have left something on the stove and it smells like it’s burning. Excuse me a minute.” The scorch of dry pinto beans smelled up the house one day before the tour.

My husband took down the air conditioner vents and painted them. He put them on a big piece of plywood on the driveway behind the car to dry. He heard a scream from the backyard. He found Mark, 6, holding Lance, 4, by the shirttail, preventing him from entering the playhouse. Emmitt settled that argument and decided to wash the car. He backed out of the carport and smashed the vents. They didn’t fit anymore.

I had been trying to paint the boys’ toy closet to hide all the scratches made by toys well used. A phone call interrupted my painting. When I returned I had two little boys with white hair and white faces. I couldn’t get the paint out of their hair so I decided the best thing to do…give them a haircut. I had never done that before, but it looked easy. You just clipped one side and then the other, I thought! They couldn’t be still. Their haircuts looked like road maps. They wore their toboggan caps day and night for weeks in that record hot summer.

Finally the day of the home tour arrived. The ladies came and left. One of the ladies had been Lance’s Vacation Bible School teacher. He said to her, “My Mom’s a nice lady. She doesn’t smoke or chew.”

When the last lady left the boys said goodbye with, “We sure are glad this is over. We don’t have to be nice anymore.”
In spite of everything I loved my “zoo.” I knew all too well that someday I would not have a zoo and I would cry.

This story happened many years ago. The boys are all grown and gone…and yes…I cried!