Giggling with God

First pres

Last week in church we got the giggles – three of us – Michelle, Stephanie and me.  Someone up front struck the funny bone, and we got tickled.  This is not an uncommon occurrence for our family.  It is genetic; we got it from my mother.

Funerals and weddings were the worst with her.

At one matrimonial service the pianist was also the organist.  The problem was that the organ and piano were on opposite side of the church.  This musician also had a very noisy dress.  When she walked, it swooshed.  Four times during the service she paraded in front of the lectern, in front of the huge flower arrangement, and in front of the bride and groom, to change instruments.

Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh – swoosh – swoosh

It was the loudest piece of clothing I’d ever heard.  The more she swooshed, the more we snickered.

At a distant cousins wedding I became tickled when the Kimball organ was turned on.  Boom da da boom da da boom boom boom…

It was just like walking through the mall.  After the beat began, the “organist” began tapping out the melody of Here Comes the Bride.

Boom da da boom da da boom – here comes the bride, all dressed in white, sweetly serene in the soft glowing light… (bet you didn’t know the third line, huh?)

As if that wasn’t enough, I had overheard my parents trying to recall the mother of the bride – “I’m not sure I know her.  What does she look like?” my dad asked my grandmother.

“She’s blonde, medium build…”


“You know, she has one green eye and one brown one.”

“Oh, yes!” Something about her description resonated.

As if the ongoing syncopation wasn’t enough, when the bride’s mother headed down the aisle, I caught a glance of her multi-colored irises.  I was done.

These days I find two different eyes sort of cool, intriguing.  In my adolescence, it just got me tickled.  I’d never seen that before.

My grandmother glared at me like I’d stood up nude on the pew.  That made my mom snicker, and then it was all over.

I left the church for the remainder of the service.  Grandmother Tanner expressed her dismay the minute she was released from the ceremony (as if I didn’t already know she was made).

The giggles can be brought about by something very small.  One Sunday I might break out with the Korean verse of the hymn printed at the bottom of the page.  One of us might turn to the wrong hymn and the innocent bystander belts out a wrong word or two before they realize the joke.  A couple of Sundays there was a stench in the pew – it smelled like a dead animal.  As various family members began sniffing around and looking at each other as if to say, “Is it you?,” the laughter began.

When DJ was an infant, we took her to the 7 PM Christmas Eve service.  When the soloist hit the high note in O Holy Night, our baby screamed out seemingly trying to match the operatic singer.  It ruined the moment which I felt bad about.  But I laughed until we finally just went home.

Once it starts, it is difficult to control.

Last week, to control my silliness, I grabbed the bible and began reading the Psalms.  They are not funny… at all.  I scowled at the kids who looked at me like I was Benedict Arnold.

Sometimes I worry that God gets a little annoyed at our Sunday morning antics.  But then I figure He saw the same thing we did.  He’s probably laughing along with us.

Leave a comment


  1. umohm

     /  December 10, 2014

    a thousand likes

  2. I must be part Tanner because I laughed right along with you. 🙂

  3. I personally don’t think God minds ….

  4. Kathy S

     /  December 10, 2014

    Laughter is a good thing! We have had similar experiences in church too, of all places, but oh the memories! I enjoy following your blog!

  5. I’m positive He doesn’t mind – cause it totally happens to me, too! And at the most inopportune times, like at church – pretty much if I HAVE to be quiet, you can bet I will get the giggles – but I’m so glad that you’ve encouraged silliness in your girls life and not stomped it out!

  6. God better be laughing alongl. Isn’t he blessed to have created such lovely funny bones 😉

  7. Evie Lichti

     /  December 11, 2014

    God’s GOT to have a sense of humor . . . look who He made – us!

  8. Daniel Johnson

     /  December 11, 2014

    That happened to Creecy and me during one of her first visits to my dad’s church. She thought some of the images in the stained glass windows looked like shrimp, which they do. I had never noticed that before. I’m not sure why it set us off, but it carried us through the service. Those stained glass windows have never looked the same to me.

    Isn’t the third line of that song “Where is the groom?”

  9. Mom

     /  December 12, 2014

    So sorry about that gene. You and Chad were not as forgiving as God was when I had the laughing fit the day you ran into each other in the driveway. Chad still has steam coming out of his ears when he remembers that one. Remember your own words…it’s impossible to control when it happens.

  10. Great post, thank you. I will determine to create more laughter in my families time at Church. You are spot on ‘Joy is the serious business of heaven’ I honestly think it’s a big party up there! But not always understood down here!

  11. thank you so much for the belly laugh. i’m glad i stumbled on your blog – your writing is infectious and your story compelling. keep telling.


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