Saturday, September 12, 2009

Column in Today's Newspaper

2nd Cup of Coffee Columns

Recently, my pastor closed a service by sharing a Regina Spektor song sparking a whole lot of discussion due to the ambiguous last line: "We're all laughing with God."

I was certainly confused. It was all I could think about on the way home. Then my family discussed possible interpretations over lunch. We didn't agree.

Later that evening, a group of friends took up the discussion. We even piled into the hosts' home office to watch the video and analyze the lyrics. Then we read online comments to see what others thought. In spite of all of this research and theorizing, we never reached a consensus. Even the next day, co-workers gathered around my desk to discuss the enigmatic lyric.

Apparently, people feel that the song is meaningful and worthy of attention, but they also feel unsettled by it.

I think this is probably the way people felt about Jesus.

Please click on the button to read the rest of the column.

If you're interested in the lyrics or video:

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood

*Chorus*
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’ve lost all they’ve got
And they don’t know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize
That the last sight they’ll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one’s laughing at God when they’re saying their goodbyes
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in hospital
No one’s laughing at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God when they’re starving or freezing or so very
poor

No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God

12 comments:

Linda said...

Wow. That's very powerful. I think I needed to hear it.

Oh, and I sometimes get the d and n backwards too. :o)

Linda

Mocha with Linda said...

Great column.

Interesting how the whole time in the song she uses the term laughing AT God, but the last line and the title is laughing WITH God.

That song makes me sad - speaks to me of a person who recognizes deep down that God is powerful but doesn't want to confront it so tries to put Him in a light-hearted "fun" box - until the not-so-fun things happen.

Chris said...

hmmmm......it is making me think. and i'm not sure what it means exactly~~~but i'm thinking and that's something alright!
:-)

lailani said...

I have not heard this before. Yes, quite thought provoking...I think that is going to play around in my mind for a while - but I do get what I think she is saying. I wasn't sure about the last line, but my take is we are laughing with Him, because he is laughing at us with are misquided ideas and such... I think? hmph . . .

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

See--already there are different interpretations. Interesting.

Deborah Ann said...

I'm definitely the kind who laughs 'with' God. He does have a sense of humor. But I would never, ever laugh at something that He Himself wouldn't laugh at. I love Him.

You're invited to visit me:

www.heavenlyhumor.blogspot.com

I laugh 'with' God here...

Quilldancer said...

God, modern day convenience and cure-all. We don't need him at parties, only when bad things happen.

All of the son makes sense to me until the last line.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I've always felt God has a tremendous sense of humor. He is the author of love, compassion, wisdom, creativity... why not humor? I mean, goodness, he created animals like the platypus, the the star-nosed mole and the kiwi. I never laugh at God... but with Him? Sure.

Edie said...

I love to laugh with God, but I don't think I agree with the things she thinks God would laugh at.

This is the first time I've heard this. Probably the only time. :)

My ADHD Me said...

I'm quite sure I heard God laugh at me once. but in a good way. he was laughing WITH me, not AT me. (hopefully)

Tabi said...

Hmmmm....yep...that's about where I am...will be thinking about this one..

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

Hi Linda--I followed a link from Rachel @ Musings of a Future Pastor's wife, and was just reading through...
I saw her (Regina Spektor) on the Today show a few weeks ago....I was quite puzzled by this song but had never heard anyone speak of it....
That said...I think it's an incredibly sad song, about how lost our society is, but how they ARE seeking something....fire insurance if you will....but that last line...yeah, I don't really get it...