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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: Strange Behavior
By Pamela Kliewer


I look at my wife, wondering what she’s thinking. Ever since she got religion she’s been acting, well, kind of strange. Reading her isn’t as easy as it used to be.

I used to be able to tell what she was thinking just by looking at her, especially when she was miffed with you-know-who.

I could read her like a book.

Just before she’d erupt like Mt. St. Helens, her face would turn all red and she’d scrunch her eyes shut tight as if building up steam.

The thing that gets her. goat the most? That would be the amount of time I spend playing video games. Yeah, she really hates that.

But, something has changed in the last several months. Like I said, she’s been acting kind of strange.

It’s not really strange as in weird, but just, well, different. Ya know?

She seems settled, quiet, gentle.

Gentle isn’t something that would describe her before, that’s for sure. And quiet, she sure never had that quality about her before. She could lift a car off the road, what with the way she was always yelling at me.

So, here I sit on this rainy Saturday afternoon and she’s just come in from her weekly grocery-shopping trip. It used to be when she’d come home from these trips and find me being a recliner spud, that she’d light into me something fierce. Letting me know how I never lift a finger and what a lazy slob I am… blah, blah, blah.

I learned to tune her out pretty quick, but now that she’s not doing it any more, the silence is rather, well, eerie… not sure if that’s quite the word I’m looking for, but it does freak me out to see her this way. I mean, come on, what would you do if all of a sudden your wife went from nag, nag, nagging, to being this quiet, gentle creature?

It’s enough to drive a guy crazy, I’m telling you. The woman I used to be able to read so well, has now become a mystery? This, I tell you, is not cool!

Whenever I ask her about this religious kick she’s on she tells me it’s not religion, but a relationship with Jesus.

Yeah, whatever.

Anyway, she’s just come in from the store. She’s in the kitchen putting the groceries away. Well, she was… sure is quiet in there now… I wonder what she’s doing.

Before I can get up out of the chair to see, she walks into the living room with a smile on her face bright enough to rival the moon on a clear night.

In the gentlest voice I’ve ever heard, she says, “Honey what would you like for dinner?”

My jaw drops to the floor and I just gape at her. I put my finger in my ear, acting like I’m cleaning it, to make sure I heard her right. “Excuse me?” I say, shock registering in my voice, I’m sure.

“What would you like for dinner?” she repeats, her voice still calm. “We could have pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, or a chef salad…”

“Pizza sounds great…”

I’m still baffled by her behavior. Wow. Maybe I need to quit trying to read her and pick up the Bible I’ve seen her reading early in the morning when she doesn’t think I’m aware… I just might learn something…

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This article has been read 531 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/23/10
I had to smile at "recliner spud." I love how you've illustrated the verse about winning the unbelieving partner. The peace of the wife was "tangible." Very nice work!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/25/10
This was enjoyable. It almost seems to be a part 2 story. The first part what the wife was like before she got religion and this part the conclusion of a wonderful story of how Jesus can change us when we walk beside Him
AnneRene' Capp04/26/10
Excellent message. I'm sure you hit a few cords with all of us "wives"...certainly did me :)
Gerald Shuler 04/27/10
Makes perfect sense to me... he could read her like a book until the became like the Book worth reading. He's going to have to learn how to read all over again. Great story.
Gerald Shuler 04/27/10
Sorry, that should be "until SHE became". Someday I'll learn to proofread.
Edmond Ng 04/27/10
I enjoyed reading this! Yes, what a change one can be upon receiving Christ as Lord! With such visible change, it certainly warrants others to read into the word of God.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/10
Now that you've tossed a brick, I do believe I was right about this being a part 2. I think this is so creative to show both the wife's side and the husband's POV. Well done.
Lyn Churchyard04/27/10
Loved the voice in this, Pamela. I could almost hear the husband speaking. Nice take on the topic.
harvestgal Ndaguba04/28/10
Wow, I loved how it shows what really changes a man, not all the nagging but demonstrating the love of Christ and the change He's made in our own lives.
Mona Purvis04/28/10
Nothing like a change within. 'A new creature'.
Good work.

Rachel Phelps04/28/10
The voice in this is awesome. Great message, too. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/28/10
This is my favorite of yours ever...and one of my favorites this week--great voice and message, as well as being very creative on the topic.
Sarah Elisabeth 04/28/10
"Recliner spud" was too good, lol.

Glad you ended it on the note of his own change in the making. This piece stands on it own, for sure!
Connie Dixon04/28/10
Loved your creative spin on the topic. You definitely captured my attention. Good job on this piece.
Ruth Stromquist04/29/10
This is excellent. And I agree with all the good comments. But I was just a bit uncomfortable with the "I just might learn something" as the final phrase in the ending. It didn't feel like it matched with his attitude throughout the rest of the story, and it felt too soon for him to give that big of a concession. But that just might be my own personal bias based on the people I've run across myself since no one else seemed to mention it.