Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. Psalm 126:2

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Psalm 98:4

I have decided to share a rather personal story with you today. I’m sharing this story because I am a big fan of laughter. I think there is great value in laughter, even if it comes at my own expense.

A few days ago, I wanted to check on our pig, Julia (we’re fairly certain/hopeful that she’s pregnant), so I needed to enter the pig pen. There are two ways into this pen: either through the gate, or over the wall. The gate would, of course, be the obvious choice, but I chose to go the other way in hopes of avoiding some deep mud. The back wall of their little covered shed is incorporated into the fence, so once you’re over the wall, you’re right there in the field with the pigs – very convenient, really. When entering the field this way, we typically use a bucket as a step on the outside of the wall, and a straw bale for a step on the inside. Also, it’s important to mention that this shed has a slanted metal roof. It’s probably a little over 6 feet high at the open end, and about 5 and a half feet at the back wall, with around 18 inches between the top of the wall and the roof there. I hope this description has adequately set the scene for you.

That day, I stood my bucket up outside the stall and used it to climb over the wall. As I did so, I realized that the pigs had (once again) moved all of the straw bales out of their stall – apparently rearranging the furniture is a favorite hobby of pigs – so I had to just drop down the few feet into the stall. No big deal.

Once inside, I thoroughly examined Julia. OK, maybe not too thoroughly; mostly I scratched behind her ears and stared at her belly, wondering if it was any bigger than the day before. When I was sufficiently perplexed, I turned to leave. It was then that it dawned on me that the missing straw bales would make my exit a bit tricky. I needed to hoist myself over the wall without the aid of a step.

Keep in mind that because there is a low roof, I couldn’t just lift myself out as if exiting a pool; I had to duck low while climbing over the wall. As I carefully raised my body onto the top of the wall, I noticed that my bucket stool had toppled over and rolled away, leaving me nothing to step down to on the outside, and no straw bale to push off from on the inside. Try not to laugh too hard as you picture me draped over the wall on my belly, one leg in and one leg out of the stall.

As I pondered my predicament, balancing precariously on the top of a 2×6, Julia quietly came up behind me. She must have been very confused by my antics. Thinking she was being helpful, I’m sure, she put her snout under my dangling foot and boosted me right out of the stall. Somehow, I managed to land on my feet, fairly unscathed.

When I peered back over the wall, I swear Julia was smiling at me. I’m sure she thought she was very clever! I smiled back. What else could I do?

It is often said that laughter is the best medicine. Hopefully this story has boosted your health (and mood) a bit!

Enjoy this beautiful day. Find something to smile about, and laugh whenever you can.

Deacon Amy