Well, today I have been laughing uncontrollably with tears running down my face. That tears bit rarely happens, even though I laugh a lot.
Story is as follows: my dad is in a nursing home, and last year I heard the sad news that one of his favourite nurses (I’ll call her Sarah) had died. I even saw her funeral order of service, pinned to the nursing home’s notice board. Sarah was Scottish, with a very strong Glaswegian accent, and my dad has always had a soft spot for the Scots, especially as my wife was Scottish. I was really upset as I liked her a lot and realised that the place would never be the same without her there.
So today, when I visited my dad, he was ranting on about how Sarah was going to go up to Glasgow, and bring him some haggis back, she was going to arrange an excursion for him, all that sort of thing. And of course I’m thinking like No, dad, she’s dead, you’re hallucinating again.
You can probably guess where this is going.
As I was on my way out of the nursing home today, someone said ‘Sarah, Anthony needs to be let out’. And Sarah came over to chat to me. Sarah, the dead lady. Sarah, the Scottish lady who is going to bring him some haggis back frae Glasgae.
I had to stop myself from doing two things. Firstly, from letting my gob drop open with shock. Second, from saying, ‘Aren’t you dead?’. And all the time, the surreal kind of feeling flooding through my mind. This isn’t happening. This isn’t real.
But it was.
I have no idea whose that funeral service was, that was on the noticeboard. Of course, it can’t have been Sarah’s. I’d even commiserated with the staff at the time, and we’d said what a lovely lady she was, what a tragic loss it was, and all that.
But she’s alive.
I began laughing as I was getting in the car, and I have to say I risked serious internal injury as I tried to stop myself cracking up as I was driving home. Sarah is alive. Sarah, whom I don’t know all that well, but whose sudden ‘resurrection’ has filled me with laughter, as well as laughing at my own antics when I found out. I’m still laughing now in between typing these lines.
So can you imagine what it must have felt like for Jesus’s friends; people with whom He’d spent the last three years of His life, whom He’d had so many adventures with, when they found out that actually, ‘Ere, ‘e says ‘e’s not dead, when they were certain He was?
I tell you what, I reckon the Bible seriously tones down His followers’ reactions. There would have been incredulity, yes, but tons of joy, laughter, a lot of gobs falling open, and maybe even someone saying ‘Aren’t you dead?’ and then even more laughter. No, the Bible doesn’t do it justice, not by a looooong chalk.
Today I have had a taste of Resurrection.
And I can thoroughly recommend it.