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I was sitting in a hospital waiting room this morning, nervously waiting for a nurse to open the door and give me a report on Becky’s (my wife) minor surgery. I hold to the belief that all surgery is major if it involves someone I love, especially if they’re going under anesthesia. There was one other person in the room with me, a man sitting immediately next to the door. He looked nervous too. But both of us were just sitting there silently looking down at old magazines.

All of a sudden, the door swung open and the nurse looked at me and said, “Are you ready to take Bonnie home now?” In response to what I’m sure was a very confused look on my face, she then prodded me again, “Well, Bonnie and I are ready to go. Are you?” The other man in the room, who was sitting too close to the door for the nurse to see him at first, then piped up, “Bonnie goes with me. I’ll take her home!”

Humor in Crisis QuoteWithout really thinking, I then blurted out what I shouldn’t have, “Wait a second, I might want to take Bonnie home with me!” Then to my surprise, the man responded by saying, “Hey, why don’t we just flip a coin?” To which I then said, “Or we could wait and see how they both did first.” By now, the nurse had her arms folded and was just rolling her eyes as she watched two grown men act like junior-high kids in this normally very serious surgical waiting room.

Then she said to me, with a small smile starting to surface, “Sir, who are you taking home today?” To which I responded, with a small, counter-smile, and a truly inquisitive tone, “Do I have any options?” Then she and the man both broke out laughing. The man then got up and went with the nurse to see his wife. Soon, the door suddenly opened again and there stood the man, with Bonnie seated behind him in a wheel chair being pushed by the nurse. Bonnie smiled at me with that glazed smile of someone still recovering from sedation.

As the three of them went by in front of me, the man leaned over and said, “Last chance bro.” And then he winked. When the door closed behind them, I smiled as I thought about how many times God has used humor to comfort me when I’m afraid. Humorist and presidential speechwriter, Robert Orben once wrote, “In prehistoric times, mankind often had only two choices in crisis situations: fight or flee. In modern times, humor offers us a third alternative; fight, flee – or laugh.”