“Faith” in Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith

Buechner, Frederick

HarperSanFrancisco, 2004

p. 109

God tells Abraham, age 100, and Sarah, 90, that they will have a baby.  Both laugh.  God tells them to name their son “Isaac,” which in Hebrew means “laughter.”

“Why did the two old crocks laugh?  They laughed because they knew only a fool would believe that a woman with one foot in the grave was soon going to have her other foot in the maternity ward.  They laughed because God expected them to believe it anyway.  They laughed because God seemed to believe it.  They laughed because they half believed it themselves.  They laughed because laughing felt better than crying.  They laughed because if by some crazy chance it just happened to come true, they would really have something to laugh about, and in the meantime it helped them keep going.’