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by James Snyder
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I saved someone’s life this past week. It runs in the family. Both my daughters are involved in saving lives. One is an EMT and drives an ambulance and the other is a Paramedic and drives a fire truck. Usually, I confine my activities to saving souls and driving my wife crazy.

Several weeks ago, I had a nasty little cancer removed from my left hand. The nurse said I could expect some minor restrictions for about a month, like staying out of the sun for a while, not washing dishes (Oh, how that hurts) or running the vacuum cleaner. (I requested this in writing for you know whom.) The list included a few other miscellaneous items.

The list did not include certain personal limitations like; shaving, combing my hair, tying my necktie and sneezing.

Have you ever tried sneezing with only one hand? Let me tell you, it’s half the fun but twice the mess, if you know what I mean.

I never imagined how important my left hand is in everything I do. It’s always been there for me as long as I can remember. To have it out of commission for a short time was a new experience for me. Fortunately, the surgery was a success and my hand is getting back into the swing of things.

Despite this, I’ve experienced two major disappointments with my surgery.

One, I requested a “Sympathy Scar” from the surgeon. After all, if I’m going to go through all this pain and restriction, I want something to show for it.

As I look at my scar right now, it is all but indiscernible.

Can you sue a doctor for doing a job too good?

The second disappointment is a little more personal. I’ve discovered not everyone is as interested in my surgery as they first let on. This has come as a terrible shock to me, which I may not soon get over.

Case in point. Because of the situation, the gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I decided to take advantage of the “down time” and get away for a few days. So, off to St. Augustine we went.

While convalescing, we took in some of the sights. One day we went to the grocery store. Just as I was going in to the store, a man coming out smiled and greeted me warmly.

“How are you today, sir?” he quipped as pleasant as you please.

I stopped dead in my tracks and responded, “I’m doing great today, sir, but last week was terrible.”

I then proceeded to show him my hand and explain the livid details of my surgery. He looked at me quite strangely and walked away while I was still expostulating on my health.

If he wasn’t interested in my well-being, why did he ask me about it in the first place?

Now, back to the life I saved.

Right after my surgery, the doctor prescribed rest. And believe me, it was the cheapest part of my recuperation. For the following two or three days (which equals in my book, five days) my regime required me to rest and not move about.

The gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came to my rescue and insisted I stay at home and rest in my easy chair. She did not have to twist my good arm for this. My easy chair is Control Central of our home. To my left is a table with a lamp where I have some important papers I’m working on and a place for my ever present cup of coffee. To my right is the telephone, a large bookcase and, most important of all, the remote control. God created the heaven and earth and everything that is, in six days. On the seventh day, he rested and on the eighth day, He created the remote control.

Being the astute husband that I am, I sympathized with my good wife. After all, her responsibility comprised taking care of me for the next few days. Sitting in my chair, I pondered just how I could make her job easier. That’s just the kind of husband I am.

Then it hit me.

To enable the “better half” to know when I needed something, I got a very nice little brass bell. The plan: Whenever I needed something, I just rang the little brass bell.

This is the kind of teamwork that has made our marriage the joyful experience of 33 years. Whenever I “rang,” she sprang into action. I love it when a plan comes together.

If my memory serves me correctly, and I could be a little hazy here, it all came to a head on a Thursday afternoon.

I rang the little brass bell. All of a sudden the Mistress of the Parsonage flew around the corner and with both hands on her hips and menace dancing in both eyes she said, “If I hear that bell ring one more time I’m going to strangle someone.”

By the tone of her voice, not to mention her body language, I knew she meant it. Immediately I hid the nice little brass bell out of concern for someone’s life. Someday I hope to meet the person whose life I saved this week.

While convalescing, I read a bit in the book of Job. For some reason, Job’s faith in God carried him through some dark days.

When his wife suggested he give up, Job’s reply is remarkable. “But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” (Job 2:10 KJV)

It doesn’t really matter what comes my way as long as it comes from the good hand of God.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jane Ward 18 Sep 2004
That was good, and well worth the laugh!
Lucian Thompson 17 Sep 2004
Pastor, you left me huddled in the floor, roaring with laughter. I dare not let my wife read this article because I have used this same technique in my own little pity party charade. Might have to use it again!
L.M. Lee 17 Sep 2004
Your congregation must know a lot about practical ways to obey God!


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