Those Who Hear

AND FINALLY THE Gospel itself as comedy—the coming together of Mutt and Jeff, the Captain and the Kids, the Wizard of Oz and the Scarecrow: the coming together of God in his unending greatness and glory and man in his unending littleness, prepared for the worst but rarely for the best, prepared for the possible but rarely for the impossible. The good news breaks into a world where the news has been so bad for so long that when it is good nobody hears it much except for a few. And who are the few that hear it? They are the ones who labor and are heavy-laden like everybody else but who, unlike everybody else, know that they labor and are heavy-laden. They are the last people you might expect to hear it, themselves the bad jokes and stooges and scarecrows of the world, the tax collectors and whores and misfits. They are the poor people, the broken people, the ones who in terms of the world's wisdom are children and madmen and fools. They have cut themselves shaving. Rich or poor, successes or failures as the world counts it, they are the ones who are willing to believe in miracles because they know it will take a miracle to fill the empty place inside them where grace and peace belong with grace and peace. Old Sarah with her China teeth knows it will take a miracle to fill the empty place inside her where she waits for a baby that will never come, so when the angel appears and tells her a baby is coming she laughs and Abraham laughs with her because, having used up all their tears, they have nothing but laughter left. Because although what the angel says may be too good to be true, who knows? Maybe the truth of it is that it's too good not to be true. 

-Originally published in Telling the Truth

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