Monday, February 11, 2013

The first time the Bible made me laugh

I remember the first time the Bible made me laugh.
I was at PAC Camp (Presbyterian Activiites Camp, though technically I suppose it's called "Presbyterian Activities Camp Camp") zoning out in the pews during Bible time. I was around the age of eight and I hated Bible time. The room reeked of reverence and the stained glass windows reminded me of the Catholic masses I was forced to attend each week. I didn't like that our counselors called this place the Sanctuary. Outside playing the Parachute game was a sanctuary. That place was breezy and exciting and made me feel like I was running under a rainbow. This place, however, was a fun-sucking prison.
I love church camp, as long as it's run by Reverend Rainbow.
But this year was different. That's because this year, a man named Doug Rutledge was our speaker. Doug was about 40-years-old with curly brown hair, a goofy smile, and a wedding ring. What?! He can't be that holy if he's married. He took his place at the sanctuary steps and addressed the room of third graders.
"Did you guys know that the Bible is funny?"
"No!" We responded loudly. Everyone knows that, Doug. Wouldn't that be illegal anyway?
"Seriously?" He said, chuckling. "Have you guys ever read the Bible?"
"Um, yes!" We said defiantly. We go to PAC Camp, of course we've read the Bible. But we were all wondering, Have we read the Bible? Wouldn't we have noticed a joke in there if we had?
"Well I think it's hilarious," he said. Then, he flipped open his Bible to Judges 3 and began to tell us the story of the morbidly obese king who changed my life.

"The Israelites were under the rule of King Eglon for eighteen years, and they were fed up with him. So, God sent Ehud to deliver them from King Eglon's rule15. Keep in mind that King Eglon is very fat. This is important. It's actually the way the Bible introduces King Eglon. It says, ‘Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man17’ Isn't that sad? What if that's how someone introduced you? 'This is Doug; look at how fat he is! That's really all you need to remember about Doug.'
"So, Ehud gathered some gifts and a posse to carry it, and strapped a double-edged sword to his thigh under his clothing16. Luckily Ehud's clothing was very loose, so the guards did not notice that there was a two-and-a-half foot long killing machine attached to his leg. This is why we now have airport security.
"Whatcha got under there?"
Just two and a half of these delicious sandwiches....
"Ehud presented the tribute to the king, and sent the carriers on their way18. Since the king now had his delightful presents, he didn't need Ehud anymore. But to stay a while longer, Ehud said, ‘I have a secret message for you19That got his attention.
"'Leave us!' King Eglon demanded, and his attendants immediately exited the room20.'
               "Ehud approached the king's throne and said, 'I have a message from God for you.21' Which is exciting. Who wouldn't want to have a personal message from the Lord Almighty?
"Eglon eagerly waited his super secret message, entertaining the possibilities. Eglon, you are just the nicest, or, Eglon, I'm going to make it rain grapes tomorrow; just an FYI. While Eglon was preparing for the news, Ehud whipped out his "secret message" and stabbed him in the stomach with it21!  Surprise!

"Then the Bible goes into great detail describing Eglon's guts. Listen up; if it's in the Bible, it must be important: 'His bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.22’  Guys, that's gross. He's so fat, you could lose a 2 ½ foot-long sword in his body.
"Then, Ehud escaped out the back door and locked it behind him.
“After Ehud had left, the servants went to check on their king, but the back door was locked. 
“He must be relieving himself,24' they guessed awkwardly.
“The servants waited to the point of embarrassment25. The king has been in there for a long time, supposedly taking the largest poop of his life, but it was still plausible. "Where's King Eglon?" Just in the bathroom. He's fat, so, ya know…
“After waiting for many minutes in an uncomfortable tizzy and tapping their sandals for ages, they finally mustered up the nerve to go check on their toilet-bound king, only to find him dead. 
“Guys, that's a crappy way to die.”

After that, Bible became my favorite time of day, even better than when I was pretending to be attacked by sharks in the Parachute game.

Have you ever read a Bible story that made you laugh?

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