Chapter 32

Why Serious Preachers Use Humor

Discernment for light moments with a weighty purpose

I once introduced a sermon story by saying, "I don't like this story." Here is approximately what followed:

Fred Craddock tells of a young pastor visiting an elderly woman in the hospital. The pastor finds the woman to be quite ill, gasping for breath, and obviously nearing the end of her life. In the midst of tubes, bags, and beeping medical machines, the pastor reads Scripture and offers spiritual comfort.
He asks, "Would you like to have prayer before I go?" and the lady whispers a yes.
The pastor says, "What would you like me to pray for today?"
The patient responds, "That I would be healed."
The pastor gulps. He thinks, The poor lady can't accept the inevitable. This is like asking God to vaporize the calories from a dozen Krispy Kremes. She isn't facing reality.The young minister keeps this to himself and begins to intercede, sort of.
"Lord, we pray for your sustaining presence with this sick sister, and if it be your will, we pray ...

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