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Dr. James L. Snyder
There are times when my bad hearing is a blessing. I'm not sure if I'm not listening or not hearing. It’s hard for me to tell.
For example, the other night, right after midnight, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were pretty much sound asleep. There was more sound on the other side of the bed than on mine, but that's a different story.
There was this tremendous boom, several flashes of lightning, and the rooftop was bombarded with rain. It sounded like some invasion.
I didn’t hear it when it happened, but my wife shook me radically and asked, “What’s that noise?”
Being the veteran husband that I am, I don’t jump to an answer unless I fully understand the question. In the middle of the night, there is no way I'm going to understand anything. That's just the way it is.
Being in a groggier frame of mind more than usual, I asked, “What did you say?”
Then my wife went into this long explanation of the noise and the lightning and the rain that woke her up. “What in the world is that?”
From the tone of her voice, I was guessing she was confused as to the sound outside. Of course, I did not hear the sound, and therefore I was not a witness or at least a reliable witness.
I had two ways to approach this. First, she was setting me up for something. Or, second, she didn't know what was happening outside.
Correcting your wife or explaining something to your wife is hazardous territory.
“Oh, that’s nothing,” I said as I was yawning. “Just go back to sleep.”
And with that, I went back to sleep. Or I tried to.
"No, no," she said. "Something's going on outside, and I'm not quite sure what it is."
About that time, the boom and the lightning and the rain exploded again in our backyard.
“See,” she said rather excitedly, “something’s going on outside in the backyard. I wonder if it’s our neighbors with their firecrackers?”
In the last few weeks, almost everybody in our neighborhood set off firecrackers right after supper to nearly breakfast time. I never do that because I never like burning money. But some people get a thrill out of setting their money on fire and watching it explode in the air.
I knew that the sound we just heard was not associated with any firecrackers. And the lightning was not related to firecrackers either.
I had a very naughty thought dance in my mind at that point—some things I just can't refuse.
We had been watching on the news the rioting and looting going on all across our country. Most distressing as we watched it.
I sat up in bed, listened very intently and then said, “I wonder if it’s a riot in our neighborhood.”
Somebody's eyes, and they weren't on my face, widened as I've never seen before.
“Remember, we were watching that on the news before we went to bed last night? They may have come to our neighborhood without us knowing it.”
I’m from the country in Pennsylvania, and I know how to milk a cow. I thought I would milk this cow as long as I could.
She leaned over and whispered, “Do you think we ought to call the police?”
I’ve never had a scam go this far in my life. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I confess I was having fun with this. It is not always I can have this kind of fun. Is it wrong for a husband to have this kind of fun with his wife? I’m not up on all of the PC activities that are prevalent today.
Nothing I wanted more than for her to call the police. That would have not only made my day but the rest of my life. Whenever there would be a silent moment, I could always bring up the question, "Do you remember when you called the police because you thought there was a riot in our backyard?"
It was hard for me to hold back my infamous snicker. I tried as best I could, but I guess I failed.
Looking at me, she said, "Why are you snickering?"
“Look at me. Yes, you are snickering. Why are you snickering?”
I guess it was time for me to come clean about the whole situation. I would have loved for it to go just a little longer. After all, such things only come once in a lifetime.
I cleared my throat and finally told her that what she was hearing was a severe thunderstorm with lightning. That’s all it was, just mother nature clearing her throat.
She stared at me, one of her stares, then turned over and went back to sleep.
The next morning I got up, went to the kitchen and turned on the coffee pot. In a few moments, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came into the kitchen.
"Well," I chirped, "how was your night?"
I got a stare still burning in my brain now.
Throughout the day a verse of Scripture came to my mind. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2).
What we may think something is may not be exactly what it is. I need to rest my thoughts on God.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.