Parish the Thought

A good hearty laugh is surely medicine.

Marlene Krause is a ministry wife who writes from Australia.

A sense of humor can be fun. I'm not sure whether my ability to usually see the humorous side of things is a blessing or a curse. I do know that it has sometimes landed me in embarrassing situa­tions and gotten me into trouble.

I can remember the first day in a new church. An elderly gentle­man with a limited knowledge of English told the mission story. He was doing well, when suddenly I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. The gentleman was telling a story about a man who had to visit a 'frizz-z'cariest'. My mind did a back-flip wondering what on earth he meant. Then as the story progressed, I realized he meant psychiatrist!

Oh what problems my humor causes me; my husband Ernie often tries hard to look as though he doesn't know me! Though I sometimes find it difficult to keep my chuckles under control, I have learned to be able to laugh inside and keep some semblance of seriousness on the outside. Most of the time anyway.

Once a minister came into the conference office and spoke to my good friend Val Shirley. She was working in the office opposite mine so I was able to over­hear the conversation. "Wasn't it terrible about the forest ranger who was found 'decaffeinated'?" the man said.

I couldn't believe my ears. "What did you say happened?" I sang out. "He was found decaf­feinated," the man repeated. I just about dissolved, putting my poor friend in a terrible position. Fortunately I kept the sound of my laughter confined to the privacy of my office. A good friendship nearly ended after that.

Others have shared stories regarding humorous incidents in their lives. One minister told ts,e of an episode that happened during a Week of Prayer. Each church member read a para­graph. It came to Brother X's turn when, without warning, he said, "I'm not sure if I can read as I've just started wearing these 'bi­sexual glasses'." Needless to say, the minister didn't hear much more of the reading.

I recall a church member who had a practical joke sense of humor. One night I sat up in bed reading while Ernie was saying his prayers. Suddenly there was a blackout. I got out of bed, looked out the window and realized that our house was the only one in darkness. Surprised, I went out to the back porch where the meter box was. As I did so, our dear friend jumped up and yelled "surprise." After I shrieked with fright, our friend roared with laughter. It wasn't long before I did the same to some other unsus­pecting person.

My habit of screaming at sudden frights made me the target of some of the more prac­tical jokers in our church. One rainy night I was walking down the church corridor with my umbrella in my hand. Suddenly a man jumped out of one of the side rooms, obviously with the intent of hearing my deathly scream.

Not only did I scream, but I let go with my umbrella and hit him solidly on the head. It was amazing how quickly this type of joke on the pastor's wife ceased.

I'm glad for humor. How dull life would be without it. It's good to be able to laugh at yourself which I have to do often. A good hearty laugh is surely medicine (Proverbs 17:22).