Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?” (Esther 6:6)
Haman's quote is one of the most comedic lines in Esther, a tale about the king of Persia that sets out to find a new queen and gives the part to Esther, a Jew. As the king’s second in command, Haman has it out for the Jews and has sworn to get rid of them as well as Esther’s cousin Mordecai. Through an incredible set of random coincidences, the king winds up wanting to bestow honor on Mordecai, though Haman doesn’t know it. Instead, Haman believes the king wants to honor him. Haman’s line above, therefore, comes in the middle of a hilarious exchange that builds between the king and Haman, not unlike the “Who’s On First?” bit by Abbott and Costello. It is a riot.
The whole thing would be funny to anyone, but to the Jewish people at the time, it would have been beyond hilarious. After all, having to deal with living in exile under Persian rule was not the most ideal of situations. Esther served as their release, a story written as an extreme exaggeration of their life and a way to put things in perspective; in other words, a farce. It is supposed to be funny. When they reached this part, they would have shared the kind of belly aching laugh that brings tears to your eyes and causes uncontrollable shakes, the kind of cathartic laughter they absolutely needed. After all, they couldn’t change their situation, and they couldn’t control it, but they could have a laugh about it.
Sometimes the most deeply spiritual thing that can happen is to share a deep down in the soul rolling from side to side punch you in the gut laugh, the kind that makes you feel like God is laughing right there with you. It’s the kind of laughter that heals. There’s nothing quite like it.
Published on 05/16/2016 @ 8:59 PM CDT