A new supermarket opened near my house. It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and smell a hint of fresh rain. The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.
When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and experience the scent of fresh hay.
When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle, and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.
I don’t buy toilet paper there anymore.
—George Vander Weit
The conference over, we pulled up to speak to the border agent just prior to our return to Canada.
“What was the purpose of your visit to the United States?” asked the stern official.
We explained that we’d attended the Calvin College Symposium for Worship and the Arts.
“Did you make any purchases while you were in the U.S.?”
“Well, yes . . . “ we said. “We stopped at the duty-free shop and bought some alcohol.”
“And,” continued the poker-faced official, “how many bottles did the Lord say you could have?”
My wife asked me the other day if I would love her when her hair turns gray. I said, “I don’t see why not. I’ve loved you through three different colors.”
A few weeks ago my 3-year-old twin daughters had me at my wit’s end as they pulled every naughty act I could imagine. First one of them cut her hair when I wasn’t looking. After realizing my horror, they ran off and ransacked their teenage brother’s room as well as my closet. My shoes were hidden all over our house! I gently let them know their behavior was not acceptable. Two hours later I once again found my shoes hidden, as well as shredded cheese poured over our living room floor and into a reclining chair. This act resulted in a second time-out for the girls.
My breaking point came later, when I found—you guessed it—my shoes hidden yet again. I sat both girls down, looked them straight in their big eyes and said, “This is the third time today you’ve been naughty, and Mommy has given you THREE time-outs! Now what do you think you deserve?”
Janae, the instigator, looked at me with big tears in her eyes and cautiously replied, “Grace?”
A seminarian thought he could better understand the fears and temptations of a future congregation if he had some varied experience, so he decided to become a cop for a while. He passed the physical exam and was taking the oral exam. One of the questions was, “How would you disperse a frenzied crowd quickly and wisely in an emergency?” His answer: “Take a collection.”
On a trip we stopped at a rest area in northern Michigan. By the drinking fountain a man started talking with us.
“Pretty lonely trip,” he said.
“Oh, are you alone?” I asked.
“Well, not really. I have a woman along with me, but she doesn’t talk much.”
Not wanting to be nosy, I steered the conversation to the weather, the area, and where we were going.
Finally the man explained, “She’s in the backseat. But it’s no company. I came from Detroit, bringing her to Upper Michigan to a small town where her relatives live. . . . You see, she’ll be buried there tomorrow.”
Billy’s Sunday school teacher asked the shy 8-year-old to name his favorite Bible story. When he didn’t respond, she suggested, “Daniel in the lions’ den?”
“No,” replied Billy softly.
“How ’bout David and Goliath?”
“Well, which one?” she persevered.
Finally Billy ventured, “I guess I like the one about the multitude that loafs and fishes.”
At the gas station a minister waited in line to fill his car’s tank just before a long holiday weekend. When he went in to pay, the clerk said, “Reverend, I’m so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”
The minister responded with a chuckle, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”
—George Vander Weit