Little Wife and the Churchy People

Did I ever tell you about the time that Little Wife nearly got burned at the stake?  Well, actually she should have known better; she should have even seen it coming.  But Little Wife is just so kind, and sadly we must admit, she always believes the best about people.  Anyway sit back and listen as I tell you this story…

Once upon a time, when Little Wife was married to Freddie Schnickel, they decided that they should be going to church with their many beautiful children.  It’s just not easy raising a family these days, and Freddie agreed that they should find a nice church so that the kids would grow up knowing that God loves them and that church people would also love them.

They shopped around for a few months for the perfect church home for their growing family.  They went to large “seeker” churches, and smaller denominational churches; they visited local neighborhood churches where they knew some people and out-of-town churches with no familiar faces.

Finally, they settled on a smallish church just a few blocks from home where Little Wife knew a few ladies and Freddie could make some new friends, and the children would be loved and nourished in the Christian faith.  And every Sunday morning, Little Wife would waken the children and dress them and feed them, and out the door they would go to worship the Lord and attend Sunday school and prayer groups and Bible study groups.

Little Wife happily became very involved in churchy activities.  Though she sensed the church “family” was cliquey and a little inbred amongst themselves, she still welcomed and even pursued every opportunity to fit in and help out.  Little Wife has always wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself, and here was a great way to serve the Lord and advance His kingdom.

Here is a bit of Little Wife’s resume while she served the Lord at the Independent  Bible Church in the Deep Valley:  Sunday School teacher, member of the Missions Committee, potluck participant for all church events, clean up person for all church events, snacks and treats lady for mid-week children’s ministry, quiet but loyal member of Ladies Bible Study,  Meals on Wheels volunteer, weekly prayer partner, nursery caregiver and toy washer, organizer and catalyst behind the ministry to help the family whose mom had cancer and would be hospitalized for several weeks while awaiting bone marrow transplant.  And along with Freddie, she attended couples counseling every Sunday evening in a nice group setting with other families. So as you can see, Little Wife really put her heart and soul into her new church.

As so often happens, while Little Wife was busy with her children and her church activities, Freddie was drifting slowly but surely away from her.  Though they tried and tried to work out their troubles, there was a certain shadow hanging over their relationship.  They asked for prayer from their friends at the church.  They tried to go to counseling to get some professional help.

Little Wife could sense herself growing smaller with each passing day.

It was certain that her children loved and needed her, but what about Freddie?  Didn’t he see how sad and alone she felt?  Was he truly so blind?  She remembered the words to the song they sang at church, “I was blind, but now I see.”  Why couldn’t Freddie see?

Well, sure enough then, along comes Trouble with a capital T.

And Little Wife was partly to blame and so was Freddie and so was Big Man, because he wouldn’t go away no matter what she said and did.  He always found a way to jump over the fence.  And pretty soon, Little Wife fell in love with Big Man.

Ooops!  Really big oooops!

Freddie and Little Wife knew they REALLY needed some help now, so they went to Pastor Edward Ego at their church.  They explained their situation and could he please help them as the shepherd of this flock of churchy people to fix their marriage and heal their broken hearts.  Pastor Ego listened to their story, and then he went to his churchy office closet where he kept all of his pastoring tools: Bibles of all various translations, shepherds staffs and rods, anointing oils and potions, and a special tool which he used for their situation.

Pastor Ego walked across the room to Little Wife and handed her a large cardboard sign.  There was a scarlet letter painted on the sign and it was decorated with a satiny soft scarlet ribbon.  As you may have already guessed, the letter was “A”, and Little Wife shriveled at the sight of it.  She knew what this meant.  Pastor Ego hung the sign around her neck and said to Freddie, “This should help.”  They walked out of the office of the pastor and into the crowd of worshipers gathering outside his office door.

Little Wife wore her sign patiently for a few days.

Then one morning, Pastor Ego came to her home with one of the churchy elders to ask if the sign was helping.  “Have you repented, Little Wife?” they asked her repeatedly.  “Yes.  Yes, I have,” was her reply repeatedly.  “I have shed many many tears of repentance.”  Little Wife showed the pastor and the elder her Bible where her tears had fallen and crinkled the words and pages.

Then they asked her, “And have you forsaken all contact with Big Man?”

“Well,” she answered, “I have tried and tried to refuse his conversation, but he always finds me and wants to visit with me.  And because I am quite small, as you can see, I have a great deal of trouble escaping from him.”

“I see,” said Pastor Ego thoughtfully.  “I see it is time to move to the next level of discipline. Please meet us at the church tomorrow evening at 6:00 with your husband and your children, and please bring your best potato salad to share.”  The pastor and the elder nodded to Little Wife and drove away down the street.

Now Little Wife was no dummy, and she was quite suspicious at this invitation.  As she peeled the potatoes for the salad the next day, she mentioned to Freddie that she was very concerned about this invitation, and would he please stay home with the children and allow her to attend the church function alone. Freddie agreed it would be best for him to not get involved, and he stayed home with the kids per her request.

As Little Wife drove into the parking lot of the Independent Bible Church in the Deep Valley, she saw the banner over the door.  She saw the tall pole stuck in the ground surrounded by all the firewood left over from the youth group bonfire.  There was a long length of rope and a gasoline can sitting on the grass nearby.  She saw all the ladies carrying their potluck dishes, smiling and chatting as they walked under the banner.

Slowly, Little Wife got out of the car, mesmerized by the words on the banner.  “Church Discipline Night.”  As she slowly walked towards the door, Pastor Ego and many elders came alongside of her.  One elder took the bowl of potato salad out of her arms.  “Thanks for coming, Little Wife,”  said Pastor Ego.  He put his heavy arm around her little shoulders and guided her towards the woodpile and the stake in the ground.  “The church elders and I have discussed this at great length and have decided that this would be the best thing for your marriage to Freddie.  Really, it’s the only solution to your marital problems.”

Little Wife looked into the strangely caring eyes of Pastor Ego.  She looked at the faces of the churchy people, the faces of the people she had known for a long long time.  The people she had served the Lord with in so many ways.  And then she listened in her heart, and she heard what they could never hear, the sound of hoofbeats, the galloping sound of a large horse drawing nearer and nearer.  And then she saw the horse and the rider charge up to the crowd knocking churchy people down and sending them flying in all directions with their potluck dishes and lit candles.

“Oh Big Man,” she sighed and fainted into his arms as they rode off into the sunset.

The End.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill
    May 22, 2011 @ 14:21:24

    Thanks for stopping by “my place” and leaving your nice comment. I used to talk to my Mom every day too…sometimes mulitple times a day. You have a nice blog!
    Jill

    Reply

  2. Natalie
    May 22, 2011 @ 15:30:54

    Thanks Jill. I’m glad that you got to be with your mom as much as you did. My mom lived in northern Minnesota and I’m just outside Chicago, so I couldn’t get up there fast enough to say “goodbye”. But we used every minute we had together for the best. I hope you have a sweet Sunday.

    Reply

  3. Trackback: Lunch with Lawrence Little | Mother Goose Smiles
  4. Dynamo Di
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 15:22:36

    I’m really enjoying your stories Natalie. Have you written a book yet?

    Reply

    • Natalie
      Feb 11, 2014 @ 06:55:42

      Omigooseness thank you! No, I haven’t written “the book” yet, but I’ve certainly given it a lot of thought. I’m finding that the longer I live, the more stories I have to tell — some of them interesting, some of them sad, but I try to twist some sort of entertainment into each of them. So glad that you’re a friend of ours now, and I promise to go and read your blog today as well. 😀

      Reply

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