We ended last week with laughter — how there is humor in God planting His Holy Spirit in these frail, fallible, human vessels of ours. That’s grace, and there is a part of grace that is comical.
Frederick Buechner calls it in the subtitle for his book on telling the truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale. The tragedy is sin; the fairy tale is the “and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after” ending; and the comedy is everything in between. Not to make light of the many awful tragedies of human existence, but to put them in the context of grace, where God’s grace ultimately conquers all, and we laugh in the victory. Sometimes we can even laugh in the tragedy because we can see the ultimate victory through the eyes of faith.
Two sisters got ahold of me last week because they were with their beloved mother in a hospice home, waiting for the inevitable, which appeared to be only days away. They got ahold of me because, in reminiscing about their lives with their mother, they recalled many special moments spent at the camp I mentioned in Friday’s Catch, and the catalyst for those memories was one of my songs, “the All Day Song” or “Love Him in the morning…” The sisters got to thinking how great it would be if I could be at their mother’s service and sing that song, so one of them found us on the Internet and sent me an email. I love it when people act on ideas like this, and I would have done it if I didn’t already have a full month with more deadlines than I can meet.
I did offer them the song, however, and sent it to them as a download and encouraged them to play it for their mother, which they did. I mentioned that I sang that song at my own mother’s bedside a few weeks before her death, and how she opened her eyes after 24 hours of being totally unresponsive, and was clear as a bell in blessing a 6-month old Chandler whom I had with me.
I mentioned that especially because their description of their mother so much reminded me of mine. They said she was a faithful church woman, but her real love was a Bible study outside the church that she taught to a bunch of “worldly,” non-church-goers. This was exactly the case with my mother, so much so that many of these women showed up at her funeral service, and were the most vocal about what my mother had meant to them. While most of the church people, who thought my mother’s life revolved only around them, looked on and wondered who these people were! No big deal … they’re just a bunch of “pagans” my mom led to the Lord!
When the sisters said they had played the song for their mother a number of times, I suggested they not overdo it for fear she might sit up and tell them to please stop playing that song — a little humor that was not inappropriate, given the hope that lies ahead for her and them. It’s just a part of the comedy of grace.