Signs of the times

There are times when I can’t believe what I’m reading. For example, did anybody see the headline saying, “Marijuana issue goes to joint committee”?

6-25 Page 4A.inddHow about this one? “Homicide victims rarely talk to police.” And, from the Associated Press, “Missippi’s literacy program shows improvement.”

I always wonder if this kind of thing is done unknowingly or on purpose. Personal experience has taught me not to be smug about other’s mistakes. Even spellcheck won’t protect you if you write, “Lighting kills cows.” One of my very own, and not the only one. Often these things happen late at night before going to press, and everybody who should catch it just doesn’t. We sometimes read what we expect to see rather than what is actually on the page.

Every laugh improves our health.

Punctuation, or the absence of it, can make a real difference. How important can the tiny dot that is the period be? Actually, it can be pretty darned important if it isn’t there.

While driving into town the other day I glanced out at a church sign advertising services and was somewhat startled to see the notice saying “Sun Worship.”

It’s true I don’t get out as much as I used to, but this really surprised me. I thought, “Who would have believed such a thing happening even a few years ago. They are actually having a service to worship the sun.”

Now, I believe in the Constitution and support the Bill of Rights. Everyone has the right to worship as they see fit in America. But sun worship? It’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Worshiping the sun god brought down one of the great Egyptian dynasties.

It took a few seconds to process that the sign was an abbreviation for Sunday Worship. They just left off the period after Sun. This one omission has been a valuable source of laughter and conversation, something that can’t be overrated.

Another source of entertainment is some of the ingeniously phrased church signs we see almost everywhere.

When they first started appearing on the landscape it was impressive. Some really made an impact, coupling a message with humor.

I wondered how on earth they were able to come up with this stuff week after week. I enjoy the positive ones and the ones with more than one meaning. Lo and behold, there’s an actual website for churches to use to get these phrases. You can even order materials to use as resources.

The ones below particularly appeal to me and have appeared near and far.

“Can’t sleep? Come hear a sermon.” “Be ye fishers of men … You catch them, He’ll clean them.”

“Come to church. Don’t wait for the hearse to bring you.” “Energy crisis? Seek God and get a puppy.”

“Under the same management for 2,000 years.” “The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice.”

“Stop, drop and roll doesn’t work in hell.” “Repent now. Avoid the rush on judgment day.” Live music every Sunday.” “Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet him.”

My favorite, seen on Rice’s Creek Road — “Moses was a basket case too.”

Someone is actually making a living coming up with this stuff. It brightens my day, and I look forward to seeing the new signs each week.

The variety amazes me. Now, the negative scary messages are depressing and I drive right by them without pausing. If I want to expose myself to negative messages, all I have to do is read the paper or turn on the news.

I take heart from the visible evidence of caring, loving people who want to serve the weary and battered souls in need of help and comfort. Thanks for making my day better.