They say humor is the spice of life, and nowhere will you find more low comedy than in church. Part of it is because you never expect it. But when it does happen, look out.

An incident from my own youth illustrates this perfectly. We didn’t have a lot of singers in the church, and those that fleshed out the choir couldn’t sing either. We had one lady in particular who was very enthusiastic about her singing. She was also very loud and often times drowned out the organ. She was so bad that if she sang to a bunch of inmates in jail it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. She was so bad and so loud that she’d drag the whole church off key. Old timers who wore hearing aids could be seen turning them off, and giving thanks to God for being deaf.

At one time we had a young priest who had a dog. It wasn’t at all uncommon for the dog to join him during services, and be lying at his feet during Mass.

Well, one fine day, the dog joins us. The lady starts singing, and dog starts howling. The priest is trying to calm the dog, she keeps singing. The poor animal is clawing at its ears as if something has crawled in and is using a pick ax on its ear drum.

She stops singing. The dog calms down.

And the congregation completely loses it. People are trying to stay serious but it isn’t working. The poor animal made known what we were all too nice to say.

The lady never opened her mouth in church again.

The Bible tells us that God will humble the proud. I love it when he does because it’s always done in public. We had a lady in the church who was one of the most judgmental folks you’ll ever want to meet.

Grownups cringed when they saw her coming. Kids cried or ran, and pets cowered as if there were an approaching lightning storm. You never knew what was going to come out her mouth, but it usually consisted of anything except what a nice person you were.

So one fine day before services she goes to the ladies’ room. She comes walking out and up the center aisle like she owns the place. Behind her is a train of toilet paper running all the way from the bathroom to up and under her skirt.

Everyone is watching, their mouths open with astonishment. Do we tell her and risk her righteous anger, or do we keep our mouths shut? A three year old solved the dilemma for us. “Look, Mommy. That mean lady has toddie paper coming out of her!”

Red faced, she stopped, and ran back to the ladies’ room.

Lesson learned. Knocked off her pedestal, she became a nice person.

One thing churches do on occasion is testimonies. People get to tell the congregation what God has done for them. This is great when people talk about jobs opening up for them, or needs being met through some unexpected means, or best of all, being healed from something. But this story should be a warning concerning another quote from the Bible. Luke 12:3 warns us that “What’s done in secret will be shouted from rooftops.”

So was the case in one particular church testimony. The lady testified that God delivered her from a life of sin, that she used to sleep with married men. She looked at one man in the congregation and said, “Que no, Brother Joe?” (Loose translation, “Isn’t that true, Brother Joe?”)

Needless to say, Brother Joe almost had a heart attack, his wife smacked him, and the pastor had a lot of fun getting things back in order. Brother Joe and his wife called it quits shortly thereafter.