Written by Scott Taylor
(with special thanks to Rev. Frank Stith, Rev. Sandy Giles, and David LaMotte)
A short list of Frank’s favorite funny one-liners from the world of Country Music:
I sold a car to a guy who stole my girl, but it don’t run so we’re even.
Mama get a hammer (There’s a fly on Daddy’s head).
If the phone don’t ring, you’ll know it’s me.
How can I miss you if you won’t go away.
I still miss you baby, but my aim’s getting better.
I’m so miserable without you, it’s like having you here.
If I had shot you when I wanted to, I’d be out by now.
My wife ran off with my best friend and I sure do miss him.
Her teeth were stained, but her heart was pure.
I am deeply grateful to Frank for sharing these funny songs with the choir last night for two reasons. First, it reminds me that one of Country Music’s true gifts to the world is humor. I can remember tuning into Hee-Haw as a child and rolling on the carpet in laughter with my brothers singing Where, O Where are you tonight, why did you leave me here all alone. I searched the world over and thought I’d found true love, you found another and PFFT, you were gone! Country Music has a way of taking what ought to be sad and making it just plain funny.
Secondly, it’s Easter and therefore a good time to laugh. As we sat in church on Sunday, that is Easter Sunday, that is April Fool’s Day, I was reminded of a sermon that Rev. Sandy Giles preached a few years ago titled “The Easter Laugh.” In this case, we imagine that God is laughing on Easter morning – that God is both laughing with us in the joy of new life and laughing at the forces of evil that would keep that joy hidden behind the rock of the tomb!
Meister Eckhart, the great mystic, boldly says, “Indeed, God laughs and plays!” The implications are vast. When we laugh and play, we somehow touch the heart of God and snubbed our noses at evil forces. When I rolled around on the floor with my brothers, literally “hee-hawing,” we were somehow expressing an Easter faith. I know that the holiest moment of this week for me was watching the Chancel Choir squirm in laughter as they heard Frank read the above verses of Country Music’s wisdom.
Oh, Church! May we not only preach to the world’s sorrow. Let us laugh and play with each other and with God! After all, Christ’s first miracle was to throw a wedding party filled with dancing and laughter and wine. Is his Easter miracle really any different?
Drink deeply when the wine is poured.