Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BUSY (02/02/17)
- TITLE: Mrs. Crabbypants
By Brad Paulson
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I arrived at the church parking lot with the groceries for the men’s ministry breakfast unaware of the monster lurking in the foliage. I was halted just before I entered the fellowship hall by a voice so abrasive it could take the paint off of an automobile faster than a sandblaster.
“You’re not planning to use the kitchen are you?” she asked. I could feel her ice cold stare, although I couldn’t actually see her eyes. She was wearing those enormous old lady sunglasses. The black kind, with side guards that wrapped around her head, making her face look like a character from the Terminator poised to destroy me at the first sign of weakness. The Church Kitchen was her territory and no one was allowed to use it without her permission.
“The men’s breakfast is tomorrow, I’m just dropping some things off” I said, with hope that by not mentioning the fact that I was the organizer and would be doing the cooking she might allow me to pass without any further incident. “It has been on the calendar for a couple of weeks.”
“Nobody told me about it” she snarled, “there is a senior’s luncheon tomorrow afternoon that I have to cook for and I’ll be too busy to clean up your mess.”
“I’m sure we will have the mess cleaned up before you start” I said as I began to get annoyed. Was I going to let this ninety pound weakling push me around? I am a leader in this church to, what business does this busy body have trying to intimidate me? The answer came as she began to whip me with one of the sharpest tongue lashings I have ever received. My only recourse was to retreat and call for reinforcements. I escaped through the fellowship hall and dropped off the groceries in the kitchen, pausing only once to turn back and see her shuffling after me in hot pursuit. I ducked out of the kitchen through the back door and ran to Pastor Dave’s office. I called him at home and alerted him of the situation.
“There’s nothing I can do, Mrs. Crabbypants is not part of the staff” he sniveled.
“I see, so you’re afraid of her too”
“Yes, but that’s immaterial, she’s not on my staff so there’s nothing I can do. And another thing, if she asks, I have nothing to do with the men’s breakfast.”
As I set the phone back on the receiver I heard footsteps shuffling down the hall and I knew it was about to get ugly. My only hope now was divine intervention. “Lord, help me in this situation. Mrs. Crabby Pants is at the end of her productive years, now might be a good time to take her.” I knew that was inappropriate so I didn’t pray it, but I did think it. “God help me” was the best I could do.
Time to face the fire, I exited the office and was shocked to see Mrs. Crabbypants laying face down on the carpet. “Lord. . . Are you kidding me?”
“Don’t just stand there, help me up,” she growled, “I have a loose hip replacement that locks up at times and down I go.”
I rushed to her aid and helped her to a chair. We proceeded to have a somewhat pleasant conversation. I found out about the man who had left her to raise three children alone and the financial difficulties she had faced. Life had not been easy for Mrs. Crabbypants and it made sense that she was trying to win the favor of the Lord. I told her God loved her and that there was nothing she had to prove to God or anyone else. I told her it’s great to be busy doing work for the Lord, but it is also okay to let others help. I hoped my words would touch her heart and ease the burden of trying to win God’s affection.
“You better not leave a mess in the kitchen.” was her heart felt response.
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