Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thin Walls

Joe and I were married five days after he graduated with a Master of Divinity Degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in May of 1974. Following a honeymoon, we stayed with his parents until Joe’s assignment to his first church. Actually, we had three churches and split up meeting times between two of them...and meeting every Sunday at the main church on the circuit.

Most United Methodist ministers live in parsonages, which are homes a church provides for the pastor’s family. Our very first home was an apartment inside the church building. We literally lived in the church.

It wasn’t a bad deal when I was running late for service. I’d just run through from the bedroom, through the dining room, kitchen, and laundry room - make a left turn and walk through a door into the sanctuary.

Really convenient. Except when you needed to do laundry on Wednesday night during prayer meeting. That spin cycle was a doozy! And loud. When it would start the spin cycle, the washer would creep out to the middle of the laundry room floor. (Good thing there were long hoses from the wall...) Joe and I would take turns running out and jumping on the washer to hold it in place till the spin cycle was done.

Another interesting thing about living in this church is that the bathroom and guest room were located just behind the chancel area. One Sunday I stayed home because of a stomach virus. Folks called all afternoon, checking on me. I asked how they knew I was sick and they’d all say the same thing, “We heard you!” Guess you shouldn’t flush that commode during worship.

While sitting in the choir one morning, I heard commotion coming from the guest room. I slipped out during the Pastor’s Morning Prayer. Our cat (I wasn’t allergic way back then) was having a party on the top bunk with my sewing patterns! Confetti! Spaghetti! It was a mess, but he was having the time of his life! I picked him up by the scruff of his neck and spanked him. “I’m gonna KILL you, you stupid cat!!!!!!” I’m a loud person. I said that with great emotion and great volume.

After a good cat-scolding, I slipped back into the sanctuary during the offertory. Von Fletcher leaned over and asked, “Did ya kill him?” You could tell by looking out at the congregation that everyone heard me. My hard-of-hearing husband thought he’d been healed because even HE could hear me!

This is just one of many moments when our church members found out that the preacher’s wife was weird.

I still am.
But I’m happy!

Remember, if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!

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