I pride myself with the ability to express myself with the proper wording. I enjoy words and seeing how they relate one to another. Unfortunately, it has not always the case.
I have found through the years that I have developed quite the art of stuttering. It happens at the most inconvenient moments.
It is like the story of Honest Abe Lincoln and his wife. The story is not true of course, but it is very interesting. Mrs. Lincoln asks Honest Abe, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
Known as “Honest Abe” we all chuckle at that moment of stuttering for him.
I have had such moments of my own.
For example, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I might be sitting in the living room watching TV and all the time the person on the other couch is chattering. Me, I am not listening, just smiling and nodding my head in agreement. That has cost me quite a bit throughout the years.
The wife was chattering and then she stopped and said, “I want to know what you think about that? And please be honest with me.”
Now the stuttering syndrome begins. I had no idea what she was talking about. Now I am backed into the proverbial corner with nowhere to go. How I answer that question, may determine my health.
“Well,” my dear, I stuttered, “if you think it’s a good idea I just want you to know that I support you 100%.” Getting that out gives me a great sigh of relief. While saying this I am looking at her smiling very graciously.
“Oh,” my wife says rather sarcastically, which should have been a warning to me, “you want broccoli for supper tonight. Right?”
How you get out of a situation like that is something I have yet to learn. Sometimes, or maybe I should say, all the time, it is crucial to listen to what your wife is saying particularly the questions.
One morning after ﬁnishing breakfast, she looked at me smilingly and said, “Ya wanna take a ride with me this morning?”
The ﬁrst time she asked me this question I was startled because I could not remember the previous conversation as to where she wanted to go that morning. Trying to be the gracious husband that I sometimes think I am, which is a solo opinion, I smiled, nodded and said, “Yes, of course, I want to go with you this morning.”
That morning we went from thrift shop to thrift shop to thrift shop. I had no idea there were that many thrift shops in the entire world.
I must say that my stuttering has got me into quite a bit of trouble throughout the years. I do not think I have improved with the years.
As they say, “One man’s stutter is his wife’s approval.”
Of course, not all my stuttering has been negative. There were times that my stuttering put me in the right direction and I have been so grateful.
While in Bible Institute, I was dating this young woman. At the time, she was part of a singing group and I traveled along just to travel along. We were going in a van and coming home, we sat in the back of the van.
I must confess I was not a dating master at the time. I am not sure I have improved throughout the years, but at this point, I do not have to do any dating. At the time, I was vulnerable to the situation at hand.
In the back of the van, we sat and chatted about this and that. I talked about this and she talked about that. The conversation seemed to go along quite well. As someone who was not experienced in the dating world, I was having a wonderful time.
The conversation drifted towards one couple in the Bible Institute getting married. I do not remember who it was now, but she had a lot to say about that marriage.
Then she said something that I did not ﬁrst understand. “Wouldn’t it be,” she said very romantically, “wonderful to get married?”
Now how does Mr. Stutterer respond to that question? Especially when that has never been a consideration on my part. Why would anybody in their right mind want to marry me? There were times that I could not even stand me.
Putting my mouth in stuttering gear, I said something to the effect, “It would be wonderful to get married someday.”
All she did was smile, hold my hand and was quiet until we got back to the school. To be truthful, I was rather suspicious of that quietness. I had not known her for long, but during that time, I had not known her to be that quiet that long.
Two months later we were engaged, six months later we were married. I owe it entirely to my stuttering syndrome. Of course, I must confess it was probably the best stuttering I ever did in my life.
I truly believe Solomon had it right when he wrote, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil” (Proverbs 31:10-11).
I am not sure Solomon ever stuttered in his life, but I have discovered that as difﬁ cult as my stuttering syndrome is, it at least has won one great victory.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@ att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]