Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

I’m Having Trouble with this Word…

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Last week, Glenn and I were speaking in Pennsylvania. With some consternation in her voice, the lady (whom I did not know until this night) who was in charge of the women’s part of the seminar, asked me if I needed an introduction or if I was good to just dive into the material I was going to discuss. She seemed very relieved when I told her that I’d be fine without any preface to my remarks. She even said something like, “Oh that’s good news. I was really worried about pronouncing that word correctly.”

Well, I could not imagine a word in the bio she had requested a few weeks earlier being difficult for her to pronounce. There were a few longer words in there, but I figured she could say Argentina and lectureships… just nothing too challenging in there.

I finally asked her exactly what word she was having trouble saying. She said it was incontinent.  I smiled and allowed that the word incontinent is not in my bio.

She looked a little sheepish and said, “Yes, it is.”

I knew the continents, as in “Cindy Colley has spoken in several states and on 4 continents” might be in there, so I explained that. She insisted that the word was INcontinent.

She got the folded copy of the worn bio out of her purse. There, encircled several times and syllabically divided was the word: in/con/ti/nent. The entire phrase was as follows. “Cindy’s attends the West Huntsville church of Christ, where her husband serves as the pulpit minister, an elder and a coach for the incontinent.”

“No! Surely not. How can this be?” I read and reread and, sure enough, there it was in black and white. “Where did you get this?”

“From your husband,” she responded. “We wrote and asked him for your bio and he sent this in an email.”

Then, it hit me. Several months ago, a well known website had asked Glenn for our bios for use in promoting a seminar series. Glenn was very busy at the time and asked me to type a short one up and e-mail it to him. I did so, including that little “joke” about him and enclosing a little note asking him if he minded proofing it for me before sending it in. Just a little husband/wife nonsensical fun I was about, you see. He would read it, chuckle and edit it. Just a quick little piece of everyday, marital fun that flavors our days. I thought no more about it.

Several days later the lectureship was mentioned and I asked him if he got those bios in. He said he did. I asked him if he proofed mine and he said, “It was great, I’m sure.”

You guessed. After one moment that included explaining what I had done, a “You did NOT do that!”, a “Yes, I did,” an amazing blush and a bewildered look on his face, a bit of craw-dadding on both parts and a laughter that slowly erupted and filled the room, he made a quick call and, sure enough, to his chagrin, the bio was already posted in cyberspace.

That’s it. The bio was already up and the page had already been visited by a limited number of people. “Well…we need to edit that bio, like, maybe, right now.” I heard the urgency in his end of the conversation. Thankfully, the edits were quickly done and the continency coach nor the coach’s wife ever heard any more about the blooper and we forgot all about it…

Until last week.  We’ve come to the realization now that the email was originally entitled Cindy’s Bio. Further he failed to delete the e-mail from his inbox. And furthermore, he has been forwarding it on to who knows how many churches requesting biographical information.

Three lessons you should learn from this post:

  1. First and foremost: My husband is not an incontinency coach. I don’t even know how that would be done. I do not think that job would be a very productive field or effective career.
  2. Wives should remember to check up (in a timely fashion) on the results of their April Fool’s jokes or jokes that should have been saved for such a holiday (especially if said jokes are in writing).
  3. Husbands should probably take the time to proof short pieces if their wives nicely ask them. (I know this is probably a more rare request in some homes than ours, but proofing is at least a semi-daily activity in ours.)
If I were hunting a spiritual application to this post, it would be difficult to find. But I am going to stretch and make one anyway. Of all your relationships, marriage should be the most fun. It should get to be more and more fun through the years. You should have advanced through all of the levels of communication with each other and you should have finally found the freedom level of communication, in which you can be an open book to your spouse without fearing his ridicule or anger at your ideas and opinions. You should both be secure in knowing that neither of you would ever do anything purposefully to truly embarrass the other. You should laugh (a lot) together and cry together when necessary. The key word is together. You should together enter the fiery trials of life and emerge as a stronger and better unit. Sometimes the misunderstandings and miscommunications are funny. Sometimes they may be less funny and more serious. When there are serious unresolved issues, the together part is more difficult. But keep holding his hand even when you may be questioning whether or not you hold his heart.

I once was privy to the words of a godly wife to her husband in a time when her trust in him had been seriously betrayed. These words she left on a greeting card on his dresser. I will never forget them: “We have made it through some really hard things together. I think we can make it through this, too. I love you…” That was many years ago and this faithful couple is doing great things together in His kingdom still today.  They are deeply devoted to each other. When laughter is a staple of your home life, it flavors on the best of days and heals on the worst of days. And this medicine has no expiration date.

Laughter does good like a medicine…(Proverbs 17:22).

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