CAMDEN Dr. James L. Snyder
Because of the situation we are in these days, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have spent some significant time watching mysteries. We enjoy a mystery movie.
I have always loved mysteries. I have read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I have read the Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton. And, don’t forget Agatha Christie with Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. What wonderful mysteries created by these authors, and I have enjoyed reading the books as well as watching the movies based on these books.
I especially like those stories where the mystery is a challenge to figure out until the very end. That keeps me on edge as I follow the story. Usually, I figure out wrong. I would never make a great detective; that is for sure. The person I think is guilty is often the most innocent person at the end of the story.
However, I keep trying, and I enjoy figuring out who the guilty person is.
That is not the case with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.
Yes, she enjoys these mysteries as much as I do, and we enjoy watching them together. Only there is one difference between us.
When people say everybody is equal, they obviously have not met the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. If there is ever a day, I thought I was equal to her, that was the worst day of my life.
No matter what the problem, she can solve it. She solves problems while I, on the other hand, have a talent for creating problems.
A few nights ago, I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, as I normally do 150 times a night. As I left the bathroom, I slipped and grabbed hold of the towel rack on the wall. I do not have to tell you what happened.
There was this loud noise, I crashed to the floor, and then the voice from the bedroom said, “What have you broken now?”
It certainly was not a mystery because she knew exactly what had happened before it happened and how she does that; I am not sure.
She went to the bathroom, saw the mess I had made, simply shook her head, and went back to bed. The next day, of course, she fixed it—no mystery about that.
If my wife cannot fix it, our house’s motto is, it cannot be broken.
Getting back to those movie mysteries.
For example, the other night, we watched this fascinating mystery, “The Midsomer Murders,” a British production.
The program began with a murder. The murderer is not revealed at the beginning, and the rest of the program is trying to solve that mystery of who murdered that person.
When we start watching these kinds of mysteries, I try to get ahead of the story and guess who the murderer is. I want to get it before my wife figures it out.
As soon as I think I have figured it out, I present it to my wife. “That man right there is the one who committed the crime.”
No sooner do I say this when across the room comes a mysterious little chuckle. I know where it’s coming from, and so I look at her and say, “Do you think I’m right?” Of course, I’m waiting for an affirmative answer.
“No,” she says, chuckling, “it’s that lady there in the blue dress.”
There was just no way possible that that person could have been the one to commit the crime. None of the evidence in the story pointed to her.
I laughed at her and said, “Oh, you got that one wrong.”
“Do you want to bet,” she said, staring at me?
I laughed and said, “I sure do, because I’m right this time.”
“What do you want to bet?” She challenged me.
“How about a quarter?”
She looked at me, slowly shook her head, and then put forth this proposal.
“If I win, you will have to give up eating apple fritters for a whole month.” That was her proposal.
“And if I win,” I said back to her, “I get to eat an apple fritter every day.”
We both agreed to those terms, and both of us were smiling. I think she thought she had her wager in the bag. Whereas I knew, I had it down pat.
As we continued watching this mystery, the lady in the blue dress seemed to be out of the picture. The man I picked out seemed to collect more evidence to put him in a sure place of conviction.
I was smiling, and I would glance at her and see she was smiling back at me.
In the last scene, everything seemed to turn. All the evidence that pointed to my person fell through the floor. Suddenly, the lady in the blue dress appears to be the murderer. Evidence after evidence piled up in her direction until finally, she was arrested.
“Well,” my wife said a little more dramatic than I appreciated, “I guess you’re giving up your apple fritters for the next month.” Then, she laughed.
I thought about what Solomon said, “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain” (Proverbs 25:14).
I believe the biggest mystery in life is with the person who thinks they know everything.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail [email protected] The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.