November 11, 2005

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Celebrating the lighter side of life in 'spam'

A few weeks ago while overwhelmed with sadness about the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I opened my “significant spam” file on my computer. Yes, I do sometimes save e-mail spam because of its humor, beauty or calming effect. The first spam I checked was something my brother, Stan, sent from South Dakota last summer.

In the more than two decades I have written for The Criterion, I have never before shared a column like this. I hope readers will indulge my digression from more serious subjects. After all, humor and good cheer, whether significant or not, is an integral part of our Christian lives. Laughter promotes healing for body and soul. With that in mind, I share these seven “spam” anecdotes:

• A gracious lady mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. “Is there anything breakable in here?” asked the postal clerk. “Only the Ten Commandments,” she said.

• There are only two kinds of people in the world—those who wake up in the morning saying, “Good morning, Lord,” and those who wake up saying, “Good Lord, it’s morning.”

• A pastor one Sunday announced to his congregation: “I have good news and bad news. The good news is we have enough money to pay for the new building program; the bad news is it’s still in your pockets.”

• While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage that had a hand-painted sign on the back of the horse-drawn buggy: “Energy efficient vehicle runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust.”

• A clergyman waited in line to fill his car with gas before a holiday weekend. Finally, an attendant motioned him to a vacant pump and said, “Sorry for the delay. Everyone seems to wait till the last minute for a trip.” The clergyman replied, “It’s the same in my business.”

• After Sunday School, a mother asked her very young daughter what the lesson was. The daughter answered, “Don’t be scared. You’ll get your quilt.” The perplexed mother later asked the pastor what the lesson actually was. He said, “Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming.”

• A clergyman parked his car in a no-parking zone because he was short on time and couldn’t find a space with a meter. He put a note under the windshield wiper that read, “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.” Upon returning, the clergyman found a citation with a note from a police officer: “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)


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