Does God Have a Sense of Humor?
Sure He does! Where else would we get ours, since we are made in His image, and a sense of humor is such a delightful gift?
Humor, though, is culturally rooted (with the exception of mother-in-law jokes, which are apparently universal in any culture on the planet!). That’s why most of us Westerners find it difficult to understand that Jesus was really a funny fellow. For instance, it’s easy for us to imagine Him intoning solemnly, “Blind guides! You strain out a gnat yet swallow a camel!” (Matt. 23:28) Not only is it a funny mental image, but Jesus was making a pun that is completely lost in translation. The Aramaic word for gnat is galma, and the word for camel is gamla. If we’d been there as onlookers, we would have howled.
So maybe some more modern examples, closer to home, will serve to show that our God has an absolutely delightful sense of humor.
My dear friend Holly told me this story:
One time I was reading a story in which the author tells the reader that God delights in wooing us and that we can even ask Him to give us a love song. After all, Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that He will quiet us with His love and rejoice over us with singing. So why not ask Him for a love song?
I was thinking about that one day while waiting for my lunch order. I was sitting outside a café in the beautiful sunshine, when two girls walked up to the outdoor picnic benches I was at, put down their purses and went inside to order their lunch.
I smiled at them as they walked inside, and then went back to pondering what kind of love song God could possibly give me. Would He honor the request right away, if at all? Maybe He’d send a bird chirping a beautiful song. Maybe He’d just splash a beam of sun right across my lap. Maybe He’d . . . oh, never mind. It’s just silly to think about these things.
But . . . the author did say that God delighted to do these kinds of things.
Well, here goes nothing.
“God, would you send me a love song?” I squeaked out meekly.
No sooner had the words left my lips when this girl’s cell phone started ringing in her purse loud enough for me to hear the ring tone. Over and over again it just kept repeating this phrase from a song by The Doors: “Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name? Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?” I laughed and laughed and laughed! That crazy God with a GREAT sense of humor and perfect timing!!
Holly’s friend Sheila read that story and responded with this:
God is definitely funny. This morning I was praying that I wouldn’t step on the dead mouse in the attic today, and I “heard” the reply, “How about tomorrow?” I laughed out loud.”
I never thought of God as witty like that, but why not?
This is my all-time favorite, told to me by Angie herself:
When she was mothering three young children, she was struggling with a number of severe stressors when she sensed God calling to her. Literally. In her spirit, she heard Him say her full name: “Angela.” Only her mother and God call her Angela. So she knew He wanted her to do something and whatever it was, she knew she didn’t want to do it.
She heard, “Angela,” and she pretty much held up her hand to the Lord and said, “Talk to Moses.”
Some time passed, and she heard His voice again: “Angela.” Again, she said, “Talk to Moses.”
More time passed. And then one day she was cooking dinner, stirring the pasta into boiling water, when she distinctly heard His voice again: “Joshua 1:2.”
She turned off the stove, told her son to watch his younger siblings, grabbed her Bible and went to her room to read, “Moses My servant is dead. You, however, arise and go . . .”
Now that’s funny. I don’t care who you are!
This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/does_god_have_a_sense_of_humor on September 9, 2012.