THE MISTRESS OF THE PARSONAGE AND HER CHICKEN POT PIE
by James Snyder
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The Mistress of the Parsonage is famous for doing many things well. She is excellent when it comes to the children's ministry. She is superb when it comes to organizing a banquet for the church. And no one runs the church office quite like her.
However, there is one thing she is better at then anybody. And I'm not saying this just because I've gotten into trouble. No siree, Deacon Don. The thing my wife does better than anybody I know is to forgive me my trespasses.
My wife has had plenty of practice in this marvelous art of forgiveness. With all the practice she has been getting lately, it is no wonder she is so good at it. Something happened this past week to remind me of an incident that happened many years ago.
It all started out rather innocently, as most things usually do. While sitting in the living room reading, my wife busied herself in the kitchen.
I must say, my wife and I are perfectly matched. She's a great cook; and I'm a great eater. I wear her fare quite happily.
From the kitchen my wife called me, "Honey, would you do me a favor?" Every husband knows what he's in for by the name his wife calls him.
If she says "Honey," it is to do her a favor. If she calls me by my first name, she wants to share some personal observation that has caught her attention. However, when she says, "Mr. Snyder," all bets are off and I'm in the soup, if you know what I mean.
You know what they say: "A husband by any other name is still in trouble." And, "Sticks and stones my break your bones, but names can put a husband in a psychological wasteland."
This time, however, she begged a favor and I was only too glad to oblige her. We were having a church potluck supper and she was preparing her famous homemade chicken potpie.
"I need to run to the church and finish setting up. Would you watch the potpie and bring it to church when you come?" It sounded like an easy enough task, even for me, so I responded in the affirmative. Then it got complicated.
"Also, I need you to add some salt in about 30 minutes. Do you think you can remember? I'll write the instructions down so you won't forget." I must confess I was a wee bit miffed at this lack of confidence in me, but I was man enough to keep these thoughts to myself.
In about 30 minutes, I went to the stove to fulfill my responsibility. Let's see, I said to myself. I'm to add some salt to this potpie. I wonder how much? Much to my relief the
instructions were written down on a piece of paper.
I will let this little kitten out of the bag; my wife's handwriting would not win her any awards unless it was at a medical convention. According to the note, I was to add "1 7 easpoons" of salt to the potpie. I did have pause to reflect. It seemed to me that 17 spoons of salt was a shake too much, but, as a husband duly devoted, I refused to question the wisdom of my better half. (Been there; done that.)
I did not know what an "easpoon" was, but confidently went to the silverware drawer. I picked out the biggest one I could find. If she wanted "1 7 easpoons" of salt, that's exactly what she will get with one more added for luck. (I was to need that luck later.)
Let me say right here that I did this with exuberance, not to mention joy. I know no greater joy than serving, and when I have an opportunity to serve the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, my joy knows no bounds.
With joy in my heart, I gathered up the Homemade Chicken Potpie and headed for the church. I was the last one to arrive; I wanted the potpie to be piping hot. Such was my solicitude with my responsibility.
I also worked at the serving line, lavishing each plate passing my way with generous portions of homemade potpie, bragging to each one that this is my wife's best dish. It's always in line to brag on your spouse whenever you get the chance.
As the people took their plates and resumed their seats, I noticed a strange thing but quickly shook it off. When the people took a bite of the potpie they made strange grimaces and dove for the water like a parched Iraqi camel.
I was the last one seated, as is normally the case. My wife was seated across the hall and so I sat down when I could find an empty chair. Then I heard it.
Across the hall came a familiar voice shouting, "Mr. Snyder!" That tone of voice caused me to believe I was in the soup.
There are many times when I misunderstand some command from the Lord. I'm often in the soup, spiritually speaking.
I have found great comfort in a verse in the New Testament. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 KJV.)
Forgiveness is one of the nicest things about Christianity. I think when someone (I'm not mentioning names) means 1 teaspoon they shouldn't write "1 7 easpoon." Just a thought.
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I had commented earlier on your story, I thought it amusing and shared it with my husband. who's reply was, so what's the point. I said 17 easpoons and he said I don't get it. I don't know what an easpoon is!sorry just had to share
You must have a delightful, patient wife! I hope she laughed at the incident as much as we have! God bless! Donna
Great story! My husband is going to know exactly what you mean
James, thank you again for another delightful peek into your life. Strange, your stories often seem to make me hungry (funny about that). Wonderful story, and wonderful point! With love, Deb