11 June 2004
The divine giggle
"Does God have a sense of humor?" asks Abigail at Lazy Reflections.
First thought out of my head was "Have you ever seen a platypus? Exhibit A."
But that really doesn't answer her question, nor is it particularly kind to the platypus. (I mean, if I need to see an ungainly creature which seems to be assembled from random parts, I need only pass by a mirror.)
And I think really she's already answered her own question, since she admits to being a fan of P. G. Wodehouse, who, in her words, "uses Biblical imagery in such a way as to make it humorous without a hint of mockery."
I'd also point her to this observation by Dawn Eden:
I realize that life is a joke and I'm in on it.
So much of Christianity is about paradoxes Jesus' saying, "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it," or God's telling Paul, "My strength is made perfect in weakness." There's a cosmic absurdity to being an immaterial soul in a material body, a Spirit-driven creature in a flesh-driven world.
In the twenty-first century, when rapid-fire gags constitute most of what's considered "humor," this notion may seem almost quaint. Still, if you love paradoxes as much as I do, and I really, truly hate them sometimes, it makes perfect sense.
One last bit: Car and Driver once got a letter from a subscriber perhaps, now that I think about it, a former subscriber complaining that the magazine's studied irreverence had gone entirely too far this time. The aggrieved correspondent signed off with: "My God will not be mocked."
The editorial reply: "We wouldn't dream of mocking God. But we'll be damned if He can't take a joke."
Which, I think, pretty much says it all.
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