I have a funny bone, and it is always itching. For those who know me well, it becomes difficult to decipher whether I’m serious or joking. My own children will momentarily read me when I say something to decide whether they’re in trouble or I’m being goofy.
I’m not saying this is a perfect virtue; in fact, it’s probably a liability at times. The portion of my brain that is subconsciously watching the world around me, catches more moments in everyday life that I find funny than I can usually consciously keep up with. I love laughing and I love scratching my funny itch. Over my lifetime, I have found that my reaction to stressful situations or calamity is usually to find humor in the moment.
Years ago, my wife Kara and I were in a car accident. She was driving down a road and had just gone through an intersection when the driver of a car coming in the opposite direction decided at the last second that they needed something from a convenience store we were about to pass. They turned directly into our path and we smashed into the front passenger door.
We had just left our local favorite Taco establishment and as I was carrying our food and holding a large cup of my favorite root beer, I had sadly chosen not to wear my seat belt. As potential energy became kinetic energy, by body was thrown forward. As my hands were up holding a cardboard tray of our burritos, my face and hands were thrown into the windshield. Tiny shards of glass were instantly deeply imbedded in my face, hands and head. My knees had plowed through the dashboard with violent force. Of course, this all happened in the blink of an eye and suddenly I found myself seated back in my seat and, in an instant, was experiencing massive pain.
Kara had thankfully been wearing her seatbelt, but was also in pain. As she gathered her senses she could hear me moan behind hands covering my face. Fear filled her as she didn’t know what she would find when I uncovered my face. As my brain began to assess what had just happened, a single thought floated to the top of my mind, and as I lowered my hands all I could think to say was…“At least you get a new car.” It continued as the fire department strapped me to a backboard, fearing I might have a broken neck. I felt the need to make them laugh, in order to relieve the tension. I expressed how upset I was with the other driver because they had made me spill my favorite root beer.
This is the way my brain works, and to be honest, I like it. Yes, it has caused some uncomfortable situations. Over the years I’ve learnt to build a filter for my humor, but it has become one of the greatest tools I have to make friends, build relationships and bring people to ease with my large imposing presence. God’s gifts for us may not always be manifested as a talent one can share from the pulpit; it may be the powerful gift that allows you to connect to people that God knows only you can reach, simply because he’s given you the key to unlock their barriers.
Hi, I’m Richard Castillo; I’m goofy, strange, embarrassing, and dedicated to sharing the love of Jesus with the world and He made me this way.