Monday, October 15, 2012

The Good Book

I often read the Bible.  I find that it remains my favorite book of all-time.  There's a lot in there.  And much of the Bible is quite funny . . . especially when one reads the King James version (published in 1611) and discovers how language has changed through the centuries.

For example, I always chuckle when I come across lines like: Cursed is the one who pisseth against the wall or She rode on the ass and broke wind.  (Get yourself a KJV concordance and look these up!)

Comedians have long-known that the Bible is a rich source of humor, and guys like Jim Gaffigan are pros at exploiting it.  In fact, I think much of the Bible's intrinsic humor is lost on us.  To the original hearers, I think large portions of the book of Genesis and Exodus, in particular, are rich with humor (certainly rich with puns!) . . . and there is no doubt that many of the parables that Jesus told are more akin to instructive jokes, or humor at the expense of the ultra-religious and powerful, than they are to serious commentary (as we often read them today).

Reading the Bible makes me smile.  I like the thought that I can make God laugh each day as well.  All I have to do is tell God my plans for the day.  God will always gets a chuckle out of my egotistical mindset.  You plan to do what?  Really . . . you think you have this much control

I also enjoy trying to explain the Bible to others.  It humbles me.  Eventually I end up admitting that the Bible is a HUGE book (or, actually, a collection of books) and that I have no idea, even after years of theological study and prayer, what most of it is about.  Every time I read the Bible, I seem to change my mind about something or somebody.  The Bible turns me into a waffler every time.  On the one hand this . . . on the other hand that.  I feel like I'm in Fiddler on the Roof.  What, exactly, are we supposed to learn from the Bible anyway? 

And even when I'm not aware of it, I often find myself exploring Biblical themes in my stories.  Suffering, faith, journey, love, redemption . . . these are just some of the themes I write about, even when I am not aware that I am writing about them. 

Mostly, I try to inject some humor into much of my writing. I think this is Biblical.  Humor fits my concept of God.  And sometimes, when I'm really hitting on all cylinders and I'm writing chapters at a time (even if I'm writing about dog poop) I feel something akin to the Spirit.  I feel connected to a power beyond myself.

Lord knows I can't write all this crap by myself.


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