Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Laughter (10/18/04)
TITLE: He Laughs
By Glenn A. Hascall
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“They came and told me to change my name - and my wife’s name,” the man replied thoughtfully.
“Was this part of the Federal Protection Program?” I asked.
“What program? You receive a visit from God and He tells you change your name – you change your name already.” Abraham responded with a chuckle. “Have you ever received a visit from God?”
“Let’s see,” I pondered. “No, I don't think so. I'm sure I would have remembered.”
“This explains much,” Abraham said, slapping dust from his clothes. I wasn‘t quite sure I liked his tone. “Later, more visitors came and told me about two cities that were going to be destroyed and then they told me that Sarah was going to have a baby!” Abraham replied in a voice filled with awe.
“The cities in question would be Sodom and Gomorrah?” I queried.
“What? Do you know of other cities that were flattened already? Yes of course Sodom and Gomorrah” Abraham replied. He seemed saddened.
“Thank you for your time, Abraham. This will certainly help in our investigation.” I begin to roll up my scroll.
“What? They came, we talked, promised were made - they left,” Abraham responded.
“Promises? Describe the promises,” I asked as I unrolled my interrogation scroll once again.
“Just that my wife was going to have a baby,” Abraham replied with a broad smile.
“Sir, I do not find the humor in such tasteless jokes,” I replied with a rude look on my face.
“Who’s joking? I chuckled when the One said this to me,” Abraham said, not intimidated in the least by my tough guy persona. “I couldn’t help myself, even Sarah laughed. I don’t think God was so happy, though.”
“What makes you think that?” I asked.
“Probably when He said, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? About a year from now, just as I told you, I will return, and Sarah will have a son.’” Abraham replied.
“I suppose that would lead someone to suspect that He wasn’t ‘so happy’” I concurred.
“I will be a hundred soon and there’s a baby on the way,” Abraham beamed.
“Congratulations from everyone down at headquarters,” I replied flippantly.
“Do you know of a good place for raising children?” Abraham asked.
“I’m not really sure, but I think I’d stay away from Sodom and Gomorrah,” I replied as I recalled the charred remains.
“There weren‘t even ten godly people,” Abraham spoke these words to himself with clenched fists remembering something unspoken.
I moved the conversation a different direction, “By the way, what will you call your son?”
“He will be Isaac,” Abraham relaxed a bit.
“Isaac? Seems like such a strange name,” I replied.
“Yes, so glad you noticed,” Abraham said as he adjusted the halter on one of his camels.
“He laughs?” I ask.
“He laughs - yes, you are right - that’s his name, ‘he laughs’. Does this help you in your indigestion?” the wanderer asked.
“That’s investigation, not - ah, never mind,” I replied wearily.
“Either way, my son will be born in laughter. What? Do you think we thought we would start a family at this time in life? No! Yet, God brought us laughter that began as disbelief and will end with the wails of new life and the joy of old men and ladies.” Abraham finished with a look of high expectation.
I write on my scroll when a certain word escapes me, “What emotion is it that you’re feeling right now. I can’t seem to think of the word.”
“Joy!“ Abraham replied. “The word is JOY! Have you never experienced this?”
“I think I have what I need.” I ignore his question completely. “Please don’t leave the region until this investigation is completed,”
“Where would I go? My family is here and soon I will have a son,” Abraham beamed.
As I walk away I wonder about the laughter and joy found in this dusty tent on the edge of nowhere desperately wishing I could find some of my own.