My favorite theological joke is the old chestnut that asks: What do you call an agnostic dyslexic insomniac?
Answer: Someone who lies awake at night wondering if there is a dog.
In retelling this joke, I mean no disrespect to those who struggle with dyslexia—or to agnostics, for that matter. As for insomniacs, I am one. Apparently insomnia is a family trait. My mother often lies awake at night. Her father (my grandfather) was a man of immense energy who routinely read until 1 or 2 a.m. even though he had to get up for work at 6:30.
I recall lying awake as a child, listening to murmurs of the television shows my parents were watching. As an adult I developed the sometime and uneasy rhythm of one night of wakefulness until 3 or 4 in the morning, followed by a night of a full eight hours’ sleep. I decided long ago not to lie awake in the dark. Instead I read or listen to music.
Spring books. Ralph C. Wood on P. D. James; Carol Zaleski on the Bhagavad Gita; top books for ministry chosen by Peter W. Marty, Debbie Blue, Richard Lischer, Brian D. McLaren and Shawnthea Monroe.
Lord have mercy
Apr 09, 2015
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).