Resurrection Sunday, my first baptism service, and needless to say I botched up few words in my haste. I did the Lord’s prayer instead of the Apostle’s Creed and the congregation, thankfully, followed along. Midway through the Lord’s Prayer, I realized I was in the wrong page. I thought it best to admit the mistake through humor, and everyone laughed it off. Maybe my age gives me this room for error.
Humor is not a time-filler. It can be a form of forgiveness, or at least a road towards it. It can even be subversive. Humor is the quickest disarming technique as it lodges the truth so inconspicuously that the recipient, laughing, will not know it until that truth has already become part of him and he sees no reason to fight it. The shadow side of humor is its fear of truth. Everything is laughed away, pain and truth, which often go together. Sometimes it hardens to cynicism. At that point, there is no real humor left, just a smoldering bitterness.