The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


David Meurer: Behind the Laughter

By Susan Mann and Chuck Holton
The 700 Club

CBN.comDavid Meurer, humorist, uses his own misadventures as a husband and father to minister to others through his book. Get to know him a little better and you’ll find that when Dave’s around, life is never dull. 

Some might call it therapy, but Dave spends his free time writing funny stories about himself, his family and the occasional flaming household appliance.

But would you believe this guy also works for a powerful government official?

“I’m a field representative for a member of congress,” he says, “which is really tragic, because it means a comedian helps run the federal government.”

He continues, “I get a chance to do some pretty cool stuff. I got to see Governor Schwarzenegger about a week ago, gave him some workout tips.”

There’s a story behind why Dave became a comedian, and it’s not very funny at all. David’s humor hid a terrible secret.

"I was an angry man," Dave explains. "No one really knew it, because I was keeping them laughing. I had a lot of rage."

His rage stemmed from abuse he suffered as a child.

“When you’re a little kid, you have a sexual violent crime committed against you," he recalls. "You have no idea. This is a trusted adult. You are just totally in chaos and confusion. You shut down, go numb. So what I felt growing up was damaged. I’m a bad person. I’m ashamed of myself. I would look in the mirror and say, ‘You are a freak’ and not know why. It’s just who I was.”

Even after the abuse stopped, the emotional damage continued.  Dave learned to use humor to keep people from seeing the hurt inside.

“You develop coping mechanisms, because this is bizarre and unreal."

In high school, some friends introduced him to Jesus Christ. At first, his past tainted his idea of what God was like.

“My first view of God was [that] He looked a lot like Judge Wapner, and He was ready to bang down the gavel. He loved us in kind of a ticked-off, obligatory sort of way,” Dave says. “It was just a lot of guilt and trying to make myself good enough to somehow merit being OK with God. It was really an unhealthy view of God.”

Dave met and married Dale in college.  They started a family as he pursued his career. But his secret wouldn’t go away that easily.

“It’s like sticking a time bomb inside you. It’s eventually going to go off.  It went off for me when I had kids. Guess who came back into my life? The trusted adult is back."

Dave panicked although he wasn't quite sure why.

" I had shoved this into such a dark little compartment," he says. "I didn’t even know what I was upset about.  In fact, I thought I was crazy, because I thought that stuff couldn’t have happened to me. I must have made it up.”

Nobody knew the burden that he carried inside.  But eventually, the facade started to crack, and Dale noticed.

“She knew something was wrong," he says of his wife. "She knew there was a part of me that was just walled off to her, and she couldn’t figure it out. My fear was if anyone really knew me, if my wife knew how damaged I was, she couldn’t stay with me. But this stuff wears you down, and eventually, I took this huge risk of actually being honest with my wife then waited for the shoe to drop.  It didn’t.  I had the incredible privilege of experiencing absolutely unconditional love."

Experiencing that kind of acceptance didn’t just change his marriage; it changed his whole outlook on life and God.

“It finally sunk in one day. 'God invented love.' My wife didn't invent love. The love she has for me has to be a shadow and an imitation of this far deeper love that God has. [It] helped me to understand who God really is and just how lavishly He loves me.”

Eventually, Dave confronted his abuser and reported him to the police. He's put this behind him now, and has been able to forgive his tormentor. Today Dave can laugh along with his audiences, because the pain he felt inside is gone. He owes it all to His Heavenly Father.

“He knows everything and loves me deeply," Dave says, "and I am not damaged goods.”

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