63. Sleeping Through the Sermon

63. Sleeping Through the Sermon

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

Sleeping Through the Sermon

You can’t deny laughter; when it comes,
it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.

~Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis

I was the pastor of a small church in a rural community. Wilbur and his wife, Leah, attended every Sunday morning. Wilbur was a farmer, and whenever he came into the house from the field and sat down, he would fall asleep. It was such a habit that when he came into church and sat in the pew he would also soon fall asleep. I discovered that some of the members of the church were taking bets to see how long I could keep Wilbur awake on Sunday mornings.

Wilbur’s wife was embarrassed by his behavior, especially when he began to snore. She tried everything to keep her sleepy spouse awake. She complained to him that she was getting calluses on her elbow from poking him in the ribs in a futile attempt to keep him alert. One day while shopping in the grocery store, she saw a small bottle of Limburger cheese. Leah bought it and dropped it in her purse.

The next Sunday morning I had just started the sermon when Wilbur began to nod. When I finished the first point in my three-point sermon, I could see I was losing him. As I started the third point, Wilbur began to snore. Quietly, Leah opened her purse, took out the bottle of Limburger cheese and held it under her husband’s nose. It worked. Wilbur sat up straight and, in a voice that could be heard all over the church, said, “Leah, will you please keep your feet on your own side of the bed!”

 

~William Webber
Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul

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