Every once in a while someone sends me a card (as a number of you did when my sister Alice died). Sometimes I get a card that reminds me of my role as a minister, often tickling my funny-bone. One was a birthday card I got years ago, which showed a traffic cop pulling over a minister and saying, “Reverend, have you been drinking?” The minister answers, “Just water, officer.” Then when you open up the card it shows the same cop saying, “Then why do I smell wine?” And the minister is replying, “Good Lord, he’s done it again!”
I enjoy this joke because it 1) shows a minister’s human frailty, while
2) showcasing his ability to think fast.
(For those of you unfamiliar with this “first miracle” of Jesus, check out the story in John 2:1-11.)
Another card I got once had Jesus holding out a loaf of bread and some fish to a group of people surrounding him (in reference to the multiplication-of-the-loaves-and-fishes story). Around him the people are saying things like “I can’t eat that, I’m a vegan”; “Has that fish been tested for mercury?”; and “Is that bread gluten-free?”
Still another card I got (at a time when I was having back problems) read: “There’s probably a Bible verse that’d be perfect right now.” But then, when you open up the card, the inside says, “Too bad you have heathens for friends!”
Again, the juxtaposition of seeing reverence–coupled with irreverent self-deprecation–can’t help but make a minister chuckle. (I’ll bet most of my fellow clergy don’t get cards this good!)
There are other cards I could mention (and some I couldn’t mention), both silly and serious, reverent and rowdy, loving and laughing. (A UU colleague of mine once referred to such treasures as “mannah from the mailbox.”) I just wanted you to know I enjoy all of the “mannah” I get, and that I appreciate its variety–which, after all, reflects the diversity of belief and personality in Unitarian Universalism itself.
With love and laughter
(and, of course)
peace and unrest,