Summary: He really has!
The Poet Swinburne once wrote, "Thou hast conquered, thou pale Galilean. The world has grown grey at thy breath"!. I`ve often wondered how he came to pen those words. What was it about Christ and Christianity that made him so dismal? Of course the Christian faith is a serious affair - but it has joyful and lighter times in plenty. Here`s one family event which proved to me that God has a sense of humour!
Jill is a keen gardener, but when we were in our Vicarage in Southport, north of Liverpool (U.K), the garden wasn`t an easy one to grow things in. You see, the whole town of Southport is built on sand, and you only had to dig down an inch or two to find it. But, just behind the Church a wonderful patch of compost had built up over the decades, and Jill decided to transfer most of it to our kitchen garden. So out came the wheelbarrow, and dig, dig, dig, trundle, trundle, trundle, on and on she went for weeks on end.
Now, in those days we had a dog called Judy, who loved cats. She was always getting out and chasing them. Jill tried to keep her in the Vicarage or in our back yard whilst she was digging, but that never seemed to stop Judy.
And, what was I doing whilst all this digging was going on? Well, one day, like all good Vicars, I was in Church praying. I`d only been there for ten minutes, when there was a loud banging at the Vestry door which was locked. I rushed to open it, to be confronted with a very irate lady. "You`ve let the dog out again" she growled (well, shouted really), and off she stalked in a huff.
I went back into Church and tried to continue praying, absolutely sure that it wasn`t me that had let the dog out this time - but it was hopeless. My mind kept chunnering on, saying: "It wasn`t me. It really wasn`t me!". A few minutes later I sat down and said to God, "Well, I don`t think it was me, Lord, but if it WAS, please show me I`m forgiven". And then I did something I`ve been told you should never do. I opened the Bible at random, and put my finger down on the open page. It was the Book of Proverbs (*), and this is what it said: "Better to live in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining woman!"........ I breathed a sigh of relief, said "Thank you, Lord, that I AM forgiven".
And that`s the day that I discovered that God has a sense of humour!
(*) Proverbs chapter 21 verse 19. Living Bible Version.
P.S. Later we found out that Judy had squeezed out of an open downstairs window. We`re still not sure who`d opened it!