Dr. James L. Snyder
Even as old as I am, there are still things I fear. I do not want to make a list, I’m afraid to. When I have conquered one fear, another one knocks on the door and introduces itself to me. Out of respect, I fear that fear.
This is not true of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. As far as I know, she fears nothing, but many things and people fear her. I am the president of that Fear Group. She has a subtle way of expressing her fear and each day I am learning more of that subtlety.
I am not sure why, but most of her fear has to do with what I am eating at the time. She has some phobia about apple fritters, especially me eating them.
One thing about her is that she always faces her fear head on. That was, until recently.
Last Tuesday I came home from my office and entering the house I heard some screaming, “Get away from me. Don't you dare come near me. Leave right away.” I was scared at first. I was thinking these remarks were directed in my direction.
I always fear the worst in every situation. My philosophy is, if you fear the worse and it doesn’t happen, it’s a good day.
The turmoil going on inside the house as I entered was very mysterious to me. I never heard such loud yelling in our home before. My first thought was it was directed to me, then my second thought was, there is an intruder in our house. If that was true about an intruder, I felt sorry for him. Crossing our doorway and coming face-to-face with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would not be a good thing for him. He would encounter the other side of her graciousness.
I can only remember one time when I encountered that side of her. The details are not necessary, the only thing important is, I survived.
Now, I was wondering if this intruder was going to survive. Very cautiously, I crossed the living room to where the noise was coming from.
There she was, standing in front of our glass doors leading into the porch area. My wife was standing there with a broom in her hand, looking out and screaming, “Get away from here or I’m going to hurt you.”
At this point, I did not want to interrupt her. I did not want that fear she was experiencing directed in my direction. So, I waited.
Finally, she whirled around, saw me and said, “Come here and help me.”
One fear I have yet to overcome is stepping into a situation I know nothing about. This qualified as one of those situations.
I stood there, staring at her not knowing what to do or say. “Don’t just stand there, come and help me.” I took one step toward her and she said, “There are bumblebees out on our porch. They tried attacking me when I was out there. I’m afraid of bumblebees.”
I did not have a notebook handy, but I wanted to jot down a new “fear” that she had. I had no idea that she was afraid of bumblebees. That information may come in handy down the road and so I tucked it into the back of my noggin.
When it comes to bumblebees and other kind of stinging insects, I like to keep my distance.
“I want you,” she said as sternly as I have ever heard her talk, “go out there and get rid of all those bumblebees.”
I guess she is not afraid of bumblebees stinging me as much as stinging her.
Being the wonderful gentleman husband that I am, or try to be, I put on my big pants and headed towards the back porch to deal with those bumblebees. Very carefully I walked out to the porch and stood there looking all around. Hiding behind the curtain the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was watching.
Then, I broke out into hilarious laughter. Giving me one of her infamous quizzical looks, she said, “What in the world are you laughing about?”
I must admit that in any situation, I always am on the laughing side. Either somebody is laughing at me, or I am laughing at someone else. This time it was a little of both.
“There are no bumblebees out here,” I said between laughter.
“What was it then?”
I wanted to tell her, but I was going to relish the moment as long as I could. There is nothing quite like getting something over on your wife. It rarely happens and so when it does, I enjoy it.
I came into the house, looked at her with a smile all over my face and said, “What it was, was a Hummingbird.” I barely got it out before laughing uncontrollably.
Looking at me she said, “A Hummingbird?”
“Yes, my dear, it was a Hummingbird.”
Looking at me with a rather dismal look she said, “Do you suppose we ought to get a hummingbird feeder?”
One of my favorite Bible verses came to mind, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
Fear is only an opportunity to trust God unconditionally.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.