Putting the Word "Fun" Back in "Funeral"

Salvation Army Fundraiser – Cherry Fork, Ohio

I had a comedy show in a little bitty place called Cherry Fork, Ohio— a very small, quiet, country community out in the middle of nowhere. Actually, this show was just another fundraiser to me. I had no expectation for it to be anything other than just another show.

As a bit of a background, I started doing stand-up comedy back in 2009. One of the things that I’ve learned along the way is that there is power in comedy.

Show after show, I go through my set, and then at the end of my set I share my testimony and present the Gospel to those present. Each and every time I’ve done this, I’ve had at least one person respond to the power of the Gospel of Christ.

Now, not every show is an outreach. It depends on my client. Sometimes, they don’t want it to be an outreach event. Sometimes they just want comedy. Back to my story. My client at Cherry Fork just wanted a comedy show to help raise money for the Salvation Army—with no expectations of anything special happening.

I did my hour long show, just like I always do. It was a REALLY great show! The crowd was great and they willed the show with HUGE laughs! During the show I did a joke about how my mother-in-law wants balloons at her funeral.

From there, I mentioned that I was a cancer survivor, and then went into a bit about songs that shouldn’t be done at funerals. (I have a pretty morbid sense of humor, to say the least!)

After the show, I was standing over next to my merch table selling CDs when this lady comes up to me to thank me for doing the fundraiser. She then started telling me what her past week had been like.

She said that her son had scheduled his SAT test, and then forgotten about it. He totally missed taking the test. He was supposed to call and reschedule it, but he forgot to do that and ended up missing the deadline. To top it all of, her brother had passed away just three days earlier. She told me how happy she was that I was a cancer survivor, but she wished that her brother had the same outcome as what I had. Wow.

She said, “I promised my friend a while back that I would be here tonight for the fundraiser. That’s the only reason I’m here. I knew that this was a comedy night, but after a week like mine, I wasn’t planning on enjoying myself. You made me laugh! I didn’t think it was possible, but you made me laugh!”

FUNERAL-BALLOONS1400X9831She then went on to tell me her favorite part of the show was my joke about my mother-in-law wanting balloons at her funeral! Of all the things I talked about, from my wife wanting to get a memory foam pillow to prove that I make stupid faces in my sleep, to my blind cat named 20/20, she thought that joke was the funniest! And to beat it all her brother had just passed away!

I am so thankful that there are people out there with a twisted, morbid sense of humor just like me!

It made me VERY happy that I was able to make her laugh. She will probably sit there at her brother’s funeral thinking about balloons, pinatas, and putting the word “fun” back in the word “funeral.” As a matter of fact I wouldn’t be surprised if she even laughs!

Firelands WineryRomans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

God has given me a gift for being able to make people laugh. This gift is unlike any other! Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” It’s truly a gift that is able to help bring people healing.

This is why I love doing comedy. This is what keeps me doing it. You never know when or how the Lord is going to use you. To him be all the glory!

So what gifts or talents has God given you? Are you a comedian? Musician? Singer? Poet? Writer? Artist? Are you using your gifts and talents for him? If so, how has he used you?

Please, take a moment to share a testimony or story with us in the comments below! You never know, your story may inspire someone to use their gifts and talents.


Photo © Verve Pictures

Eric Johnson
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