It seems like only yesterday now, what started out as just another routine Sunday morning at church. We had a wonderful guest preacher, the church was full of good friends, and nothing was more intoxicating than the faint aroma of a pot roast drifting in from the kitchen as the service was winding to a close. The preacher had given an excellent sermon on the power of prayer and had captured everyone's attention.
Normally it's our two son’s that we have to keep straight during service to stop bothering each other, but this day was different. My wife, let's call her Melissa, had kept making this irritating noise in my ear that was getting on my last solitary nerve. But I, Wayne Carlan, just closed my eyes and asked the Lord for patience.
I had managed to ignore it for as long as I possibly could but against my better judgement I finally, and ever so politely, asked her to please stop. Which to my surprise only resulted in this sweet woman intensifying her efforts to drive me completely insane. I know we were in church and that I should have turned the other cheek, but I made the executive decision to go the Old Testament route "an eye for an eye". I tried everything in the book to irritate her back but of course, nothing worked. So again, I closed my eyes and asked the Lord for patience.
Eventually the preacher had asked us to bow our heads in closing prayer and that's when it appeared to me like a vision, and I couldn't stop laughing. This finally got her attention and Melissa whispers gently in my ear "and just what is so funny". She was wearing open toe shoes and I proceeded to lovingly explain how her little toe looked like a dolphin head. Now at the time I had no idea that women were so touchy feely about their feet. Another hard life lesson learned!!
The prayer concluded and when I saw the look on her face I quickly bowed once again asking the Lord this time to give "her" patience. Before I could even get Amen out of my mouth I felt the wrong side of her wedding ring, accompanied by five closed knuckles, box the side of my left ear. The mother of my children had just punched me right in the middle of the church house. We were in the process of standing up when the assault occurred... she had hit me so hard it knocked my equilibrium into another dimension. I lost my balance and staggered right out into the middle of the aisle, scared and all alone. As my ear was ringing to the Rocky movie soundtrack I looked up and read the preachers lips "is anyone in need of prayer"?
As our eyes locked he stretched out his arms in my direction and said "come on down brother". I glanced at Melissa, my eyes begging for mercy. She just gave me a wicked little grin and pointed toward the preacher, there would be no mercy today. I felt my head and shoulders sink low as I began the long walk down the aisle. When I finally arrived the preacher leaned down and lovingly asked me what I needed. I dropped to my knees and replied "please Lord, give me patience".
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