I have noticed lately that I have been getting in trouble with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, at least more than normal. I am at the stage of life where this kind of thing needs to be brought to a bare minimum.
At the end of each month my wife will quiz me as to if I have paid all of the bills. In my rhetorical answer is always, “I sure did, my lady.” Then I will bow before her. For some reason she does not get the humor of that.
My job is to pay the bills and her job is to make sure the end of the month I have paid the bills. This has been our relationship for longer than I can recall.
Every once in a while I get in a little tickle mode and dramatically declare that I forgot to pay the bills for the month. “Oh my, what will we do?”
The first time I did that, she threw a smile in my direction. I dramatically would catch it and put it in my pocket.
I notice she has not been throwing smiles at me lately. Honestly, who can blame her?
It was towards the middle of the month when the cable went dead. We had no telephone, TV or Internet service. The first thing my wife said was, “You did pay the Comcast bill, didn’t you?”
I put on my regular show and assured her that I did.
We had to call the Comcast Company, but as it stood, we had no telephone service. Fortunately, my wife had her cell phone and called the Comcast Company to see what the problem was, maybe the service had gone out in our neighborhood.
One thing about my wife getting on the telephone for such a thing as finding out why we had no service is that she does not have patience. She hates being put on hold. I hate her being put on hold because she usually takes out her frustration on me.
Now, what do I have to do with that? After all, I did pay the bill. In fact, I went to the checkbook and showed her the number of the check and the amount of the check. “There,” I said most adamantly, “I paid the bill.”
After about 45 minutes of waiting rather impatiently, my wife finally connected with the service representative who was able to help her. I did not hear the conversation, but I knew it must have been quite serious because I could see in her face that she was getting angrier by the minute.
“We paid our bill on time,” she protested in a very stern manner. “My husband has the check number to prove that he wrote the check out.”
I was sitting in my easy chair going through my briefcase enjoying the drama that was unfolding before me. I love it when somebody is in trouble and that somebody is not me. I must confess it does not happen that often, but when it does happen, I take full advantage of it. I was gloating just a little bit and feeling pretty good about myself.
I had my briefcase and was sorting out some papers and getting ready for the next day when I ran across a bunch of envelopes. I looked at them, then looked over at my wife, and then looked back at the pile of envelopes and all of the color drained from my face. I could not believe what I found in my briefcase.
There in a neat bundle where all of the bills I had written out for the previous month. The checks had been written, signed and placed in the proper envelope with a postage stamp on it. All of the bills for the month were there staring at me with such vicious eyes as I have never seen before.
What will I do now?
I knew I had to face the music and it was not a song I enjoyed. I picked up the envelope with the Comcast bill address on the front, took it over to my wife as she was on the phone to the Comcast representatives, laid it on her lap and then walked away.
“I know my husband paid the bill because he pays this bill every month.”
Then she noticed the envelope I had placed in her lap, she turned around and stared at me a stare I have not had from her in a very long time.
“Just a minute,” I heard her say to the other person on the phone, and then she looked at me. Then it came. “Is this the bill you were supposed to send out last month?”
Lying at this moment would not have been productive in any fashion.
She opened the envelope and there was the check dutifully written out to the Comcast Company. She was able to pay the bill over the phone and then it would be my turn to pay.
David who got in a lot of trouble understood this when he wrote, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah” (Psalms 32:5).
Swallowing pride or eating crow is not my idea of a delightful repast but it can be the beginning of something good.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.jamessnyderministries.com.