Friday, January 23, 2009

Laughing Jesus

Early in life, I was a lot like Scaramouche, who described himself as ‘having a gift of laughter and feeling that the world was mad.’ The realities of life and some very difficult jobs caused me to become too serious and prone to look at things in an analytical way. Then I discovered a very good antidote to such foolishness. I was brought down by Cancer. When your world shrinks to the size of a hospital bed, you have a tendency to look at things differently. Recently, some members of a forum were speculating on the most precious substance on earth. Diamonds, sapphires, and rubies were mentioned, but I think laughter has all of them beat. There are pictures by several artists called ‘Laughing Jesus.’ When I saw one of them for the first time, I was startled. Then I came to realize that Jesus did laugh despite the traditional art through the ages that depict him as very solemn and mournful. There are many verses in the scripture where we see examples of His humor. For those of you who disagree and think that God did not have a sense of humor, just wait a few years and go look in the mirror.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


The person who decided to schedule the first day of the year in the dead of winter knew exactly what he was doing. There is an undeniable beauty to the winter season, but there is something about the short days and dark clouds that depress me. The shortest day of the year usually falls on December twenty-first, and then they start, slowly and agonizingly, to get longer. The tiny increase in the amount of sunlight over the next two weeks causes magical things to happen. The first buds appear on sheltered trees, and hearty sprigs of winter grass poke through the dead leaves in the forest. I am not a poet but there is something about the impending miracles of spring that tempt me to try my hand at writing just a few verses. Something, perhaps, that would describe the beauty of the first buttercup spears, the song of a Robin perched on top of a gatepost, or the distinctive smell of the slowly warming earth. Nature has a remarkable patience that poets have commented on for untold centuries─ but I am patient, too, and I shall watch and I shall wait . . .