Some people just ooze the charm, and are a lot of fun to be around. My friend Walter is one of them. He’s just plain funny, too. Sometimes he means to be, and other times it comes out naturally. That’s what make his encounters so refreshing.
He’s new to church, so a lot of things are still discoveries for him. That adds to the fun, especially in Sunday School.
Last week our teacher was doing a lesson on Moses, and asked if anyone could tell her what was known about him. Of course, Walter had to speak up.
“One day Moses wasn’t feeling well, so God told him to take two tablets and call him in the morning.”
Needless to say, it was a few minutes before we could continue. It’s a good thing we have a cool teacher – she takes things like that in stride. It’s a very good thing.
After we resumed, Mrs. Rydle continued on with her lesson and got to the point about the golden calf. With a slight hint of mischief in her voice, she asked us what Moses said when he saw that idol for the first time. She had an idea Walter would speak up.
“Holy Cow?” was all he said, but it was enough. The lesson was over for the day.
Since Walter was new to church in general, and ours in particular, he didn’t know a lot of people yet. I’m not sure if what came next was intentional or if it just happened, but it certainly made my day. When we got to the part of the service where everybody had to shake hands and welcome those around us, Walter sprang into action.
He shook as many hands and patted as many backs as possible, making his way to one more gentleman before he sat down. “Are you new here?” he asked.
“No, I’m the pastor,” said Rev. Goode with a smile, obviously aware of Walter. Even though Pastor Goode had been on vacation for two weeks, I’m still not sure if Walter really didn’t know him or if it was just one of those Walter things. I really enjoyed it, though.
Now we were onto the good stuff. Even though we are no longer teen-agers, I still have a hard time focusing for the entire service. Sometimes I look for other stuff to do. (Did I really just say that?)
Anyway, Walter, unfortunately takes my lead, since he is, after all, new to this. We decided to one up each other with some Tom Swifties, and had a hard time stifling our laughs when an “amen” would have been more appropriate. Here’s a sampling of what we shared with each other:
“I don’t want to do anything,” he said effortlessly.
“I’ve been thinking of retiring to Florida,” he said warmly.
“I’ve been thinking of retiring to Arizona,” he said dryly.
“The world is mine,” he said meekly.
“Don’t stop so quickly,” he said haltingly.
“Get to the back of the boat,” he said sternly.
“I’m just not a very good realtor,” he said listlessly.
“I’ll have more pancakes,” he said flippantly.
“I could ride this snowmobile all day,” he said tirelessly.
“I’m the only plumber around,” he said peerlessly.
“I’m a diabetic,” he said sweetly.
And finally, “I am not acting like a baby,” he cried.
O.k, so we didn’t take notes that day, but we did fill the entire backside of an offering envelope. Or two. It was still a good day. We had some fun together, and Walter was enjoying church. He’s beginning to ask a lot of questions, and he trusted me. We didn’t hear much of the sermon that day, but so what. We did hear the verse Rev. Goode shared, and for this day that was enough.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Well, Walter had had enough of the latter growing up, and he needed some healing for his heart. That day, we got just what the doctor ordered.
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