I once told someone that I find much humor in the Bible, that I even laughed sometimes, as I read it. She looked at me as if I’d spoken heresy, and mumbled, “I can’t imagine…”
I didn’t mean that I was making fun of Scripture, but that there are some passages that seem, on the face of it, a bit absurd, or, when looked at deeper, reflect the foibles of we humans in the face of an all-knowing, all-powerful God.
Psalm 88 is described in my Bible (New American Version), as “A Despairing Lament.” Verse 2 is:
“Lord, my God, I call out by day; at night I cry aloud in your presence.”
Certainly, the speaker is deepy troubled by something, and in despair, praying and praying to God about his or her problem. Haven’t we all been there at some point? But, the humor of it for me is Verse 3, when taken with Verse 2:
“Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.”
Now, I fully doubt that the Lord did not hear the calls and cries expressed in Verse 2. In fact, I think we can be very sure the Lord heard every, single one. The humor I find here is expressed in the oh-so-human response of the pray-er: He (or she) keeps pelting God with pleas, but is deaf to hearing God’s response because of the verbal salvo.
Isn’t that so like we humans? We think that if we pray more, God will answer us exactly as we want him to. And in our praying and praying, we don’t take time to listen. We don’t even pick up on his subtle hints, his spiritual “call-waiting” beeps that let us know, yes, that he hears us and is responding.
Yes, sometimes when I read Scripture, I shake my head and laugh. Because, reflected in those words and people of long ago, I so clearly see humannity today. I see myself.
Blessings for the day,