Our Collective Journal

February/March 2012

 

"I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints in writing
of my experience of the goodness of God." 

--John Woolman  

 

Chapter 5

When has God made you laugh?

 

 

Angel Vahoohoo © Melanie Weidner, listenforjoy.com   

 

Freedom of Dead Clams

Over the years, I’ve learned how to talk like a pastor. However, it never feels like my native tongue. When I’m gathered with other pastors, I am acutely aware of the language barrier that separates us. They are a flock of unrelentingly cheerful sheep; I am an introspective goat, prone... [more]

 
 

What's the Most Important Thing in Telling a Joke?

Yet once again I’m sitting in the back of the meetinghouse, feeling sorry for myself, wishing not so much to get back my lost theology as wishing there was something to fill the void of that loss.  Hearing everyone else happily singing the songs that once spoke of my faith,... [more]

 
 

Waiting For a Sign

I’ve always been attuned to the natural world, particularly birds, so, not surprisingly, God often communicates with me through birds and nature. I learned long ago that when nature behaves in unnatural ways, I’m to pay attention: God is speaking and wants me to listen.

 

One day I had a strong... [more]

 
 

Laughter in an Oasis

Our visit to Palestine was ending and we were in a small town not far from the Ben Gurion airport. The town was named Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam, Hebrew and Arabic meaning “Oasis of Peace.” Neve Shalom ~ Wahat al-Salam is no ordinary village, rather it is an intentional... [more]

 
 

Playing Games

The low winter sun streams through the Douglas fir and cedar branches along the Wildwood Trail. The trail winds along a contour line out in the deep wooded heart of the park and I am alone. Well, almost alone. Around a bend in the trail comes my dog, running full... [more]

 
 

Behold I Stand at the Door and Knock

Knock knock.

Who's there?

God.

Really?  Is it really You, at last?

That's not the right response.  You're supposed to say, "God who?"

Oh.  Sorry.  God who?

Let's take it from the top; works better that way.

 

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Jesus.

Wait; last time you said "God."

Can't you follow simple instructions?

Sure, but you said...

Never mind; let's begin again.

 

Knock knock.

Who's... [more]

 
 

One Smooth Stone

I was appalled.  I was at Yearly Meeting for the first time, and a speaker had invited people to come forward in a way that sounded just like an altar call.

 

The speaker had been talking about the power of words spoken in anger to wound people we love.  He said... [more]

 
 

Laughing at Godís Plans

In my experience, following God’s plans usually involves taking many small steps whose consequences are hard to see at the time; only looking back can I see the path God has been laying out, and my reaction is usually a smile or tears, not laughter.  For laughter, there must be... [more]

 
 

 

Stories in this Chapter

 

Freedom of Dead Clams

 

What's the Most Important Thing in Telling a Joke?

 

Waiting For a Sign

 

Laughter in an Oasis

 

Playing Games

 

Behold I Stand at the Door and Knock

 

One Smooth Stone

 

Laughing at Godís Plans