Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child. Have fun!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Laughing at myself

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Even in church.

Many years ago, when I first interpreted for the Deaf at our church, there were mishaps aplenty. Thankfully, our friends were very patient and understanding. There was that time that I interpreted a whole foot washing service as sock washing and they didn't bother to bring it to my attention until the whole service was over. As soon as they told me, I knew what I had done, and the correct signs for both feet and socks. For me, (and maybe for them) it has forever changed the meaning of that sacred tradition. Just imagine Jesus on his hands and knees removing the socks from his sandaled and sockless disciples and washing them right there - dipping them in water, wringing them out, wringing them out a bit more, dipping them back in the water, and wringing them out. Rinse and repeat. Can't you just see 12 pairs of socks hanging over the bench they were sitting on for Passover? Or maybe pinned to a line along the side? And Peter, protesting, as Jesus removed his mismatched Argyle socks from his dirty, dusty, sandaled feet? It's okay, just imagine; God can handle it, He created our imaginations and the ability to laugh.

And then there's yesterday, when the Good Doctor asked me to help him with communion. I get this question a lot and I often cannot help. This time I was already sitting in my seat in church so I really couldn't use the have-to-wash-the-cat excuse or the I-have-nothing-to-wear explanation or the-baby-pooped-in-the-carseat-gotta-wash-it-right-now defense so I agreed.

You might think this is not a difficult task but for me, the most nerve-wracking part is that there is this one phrase that you have to repeat over and over and over again, in a very solemn and serious someone-has-died tone. You can't mess it up. You can't smile. You can't let them see you sweat. You have to get your volume just right, too. Too quiet and the poor recipient has no idea why you are offering them a plate of tiny, clear, plastic cups of grape juice or why there is a loaf of bread wrapped in a napkin in your hand. Too loud and you spoil the suspense for the next person in line.

You get one and only one shot with each person and since there are so many people, that's a lot of chances to mess up. And once I start to get anxious over the fact that I have been asked to do this yet again (comes as part of the pastor's wife contract: Do you hereby solemnly affirm that any time you are asked to help serve communion and cannot come up with a sufficient excuse, you will joyfully yet solemnly fulfill your duties with the utmost religiosity? right above Do you hereby solemnly affirm that you will have all of the exact same skills as your pastoral spouse so any time someone comes to you for counseling, advice, or church information, you will respond in the exact same way that he/she does? and right under Do you hereby solemnly affirm that you will never, ever let anyone know that your pastor spouse has faults and do you hereby solemnly affirm that you will agree with anyone who comes to you singing your spouse's praises for something he/she has done at church?), then any recollection of what I was told to say the last time I helped serve communion goes right out of my head. I can remember that it either has something to do with bread or cup, depending on what is in my hands, but that is the extent of my memory. Of course, if the Good Doctor decides to change things up a bit and give you a new line, that is really going to be a problem.

So I always ask for a refresher and yesterday he told me to say, "This is the blood of Jesus shed for your sin." That's was all fine and good for the first person. The second one came along and I repeated, "This is the blood of Jesus shed for your sin," only this time it came out, "This is the blood of Jesus shed for your skin."

I blame Andrew for all of those years of snake ownership in our home. We must have put shed and skin in the same sentence one too many times in those years.

Father, forgive me, for I cracked a smile.

Okay, I outright giggled.

I apologized, corrected my mistake, and moved on.

Now I was afraid of the bishop finding out and the possibility of excommunication so I was very careful with the next person, and the one after that, and the one after that...

But even so, it happened again.

Father, forgive me again, for I almost peed my pants. In church. During communion.

And believe it or not, since some of us are slow learners, it happened a third time.

There are no excuses that can cover that. I'm old? I have too many kids? We used to own a snake who shed her skin?  All sounds so lame when you try to put it on paper.

And to add insult to injury, the Good Doctor insisted that I have to share it with the cyber world because as he said, "It will set you free from the performance trap."

Might set you free from your job, too, dear husband, but just remember, it was your idea to confess. In fact, that was in your sermon yesterday, wasn't it? Confession, right? Yes, I think it was. See, I was listening (but truth be told, that's in the contract too. I do hereby solemnly affirm that I will always be in attendance during my spouse's sermons, sitting with him upfront, looking lovingly toward my spouse but not too lovingly as to be a distraction, nodding my head at all of the profound points, never criticizing my spouse's words, content, or clothing).

Forgive me, Father, for I keep forgetting that one.

5 comments:

  1. I read your post with a smile on my face. As a pastors wife, those points of what a pastor's wife is supposed to be and do are so true even though you wrote them as a joke. I saw a survey recently that said the hardest occupation is being a pastor and the 2nd hardest is the pastor's wife. I think those 2 should be turned around. Any amens from pastor's wives?

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  2. As a wife of a former pastor, I say a loud AMEN!

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  3. In the name of confession, I missed my husband's sermon yesterday :)

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  4. I'm not a pastor's wife, but I laughed out loud at this post. I hope those three recipients were able to crack a smile, too!

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  5. You are hilarious. Thanks for helping us see the humor in ALL things.

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