a child's smile

Monday, May 21, 2007

"In church the other Sunday I was intent on a small child who was turning around and smiling at everyone. He wasn't gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals, or rummaging through his mother's handbag. He was just smiling. Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theater off Broadway said, "Stop that grinning! You're in church!" With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, "that’s better" and returned to her prayers.... Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me that the entire world is in tears, and if you're not then you had better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humour to have created the likes of us..... By tradition, one who wears faith with the solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge. What a fool, I thought. Here was a woman sitting next to a light left in our civilization... If he couldn't smile in church, where was there left to go?"

~Erma Bombeck


the Joneses said...

One of my favorite images from Madeline L'Engle's books is the statue of the Laughing Christ in "House Like a Lotus." It's a statue showing the joy that our Lord has in His creation.


Kelly Sauer said...

Haven't read the book, but I have a similar picture from George MacDonald:

“I wonder how many Christians there are who so thoroughly believe God made them that they can laugh in God’s name; who understand that God invented laughter and gave it to His children…. The Lord of gladness delights in the laughter of a merry heart.”

~George MacDonald

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