OUT TO PASTOR: The question of the disappearing ice cream
A mystery has developed within the halls of our once peaceful domicile.
A hint of the mystery came my way on Wednesday when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage went to the freezer for a box of ice cream. According to her, this was supposed to be for our dessert after supper. But, if I have all the facts correct, she went to the freezer and did not find the anticipated box of ice cream.
I was preoccupied with the evening news on television when my wife came and stood in the archway with both hands on her hips, staring at me with one of those looks and said, “Where did the ice cream go?”
Well, as questions go, this one was a question, all right. My first response was to say, “Am I my ice cream’s keeper?” But I knew that would not scoop any goodwill from her.
However, from the tone of her voice I got the suspicion that this was not a rhetorical question. Somehow, I felt she was looking for an answer and in looking for the answer was looking straight at me. At the time I was looking rather guilty.
I resent this sort of thing. Whenever something adverse happens in our house the first thing my wife does is to question me about the incident. And I do remember that this sort of thing happened even when the children were still living under our roof. The insinuation that I was at the bottom of some sort of mischief is quite offensive to Yours Truly. I usually am at the bottom of something or other, but offensive, nevertheless, to be thought of in this light especially from my wife.
The grilling continued.
“Do you know anything about the missing ice cream?” She queried as though she knew the answer.
The way she posed her question suggested to me that she already knew the answer. In fact, the way she was looking at me suggested very strongly that she was looking at the answer.
I did not quite know how to answer these inquiries. If I answered “yes,” I was in for some very serious interrogation. If, on the other hand, I answered “no,” I was in for some very dirty looks. I'm not sure which is worse, “interrogation” or “dirty looks.” Both are on about the same level of pain for the recipient.
While we are on the subject, I have some questions of my own. What I want to know is, does she think I'm responsible for the missing ice cream or, does she think I know what happened to the missing ice cream? How much does she know about the incident and when did she know it?
It was around this time that she brought some evidence to bear upon the incident.
“I bought a box of ice cream on Monday and I have the receipt here to prove that I did. I did not have any ice cream and it is only Wednesday, but the ice cream is missing.”
As devastating as that evidence was she still had more incriminating corroboration in her accusatory arsenal.
“Also, I’ve been hearing some suspicious activity in the middle of the night in the general area of the refrigerator. Do you have any idea what that noise might be?”
Another question! Who does she think she is? The FBI? [Female Bullying Investigator].
I must admit evidence was piling up pretty heavy in my direction.
However, I have a question of my own. Am I responsible for every noise and suspicious activity that goes on in the middle of the night? And, could it be that I am positively innocent of these covert charges laid against me? Isn't a person presumed to be innocent until found guilty? And, does a husband qualify as being a person?
I am never good at answering questions. For example, my wife once asked me, “Are you acting like a fool?”
Without even thinking, I responded by saying, “I’ll have you know I’m not acting.”
Jesus was good at asking questions. His questions usually got to the heart of the issue. He once asked Peter a very serious question. “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15).
Peter, being the kind of person he was, thought he knew the answer when he really did not understand the question.
Finally, after the third time, Peter surrendered to the Lord. “Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” (John 21:17).
At times, the question is not meant to elicit an answer but to get somebody to think about something.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.