By Emily Parke Chase –
When one of my brothers, in a sentimental mood, decided to give each of our kids a recording of their grandfather’s sermons, the response was, um, muted enthusiasm. So I was surprised when those tapes began to lead a wild life of their own.
Mind you, my children were all under the age of ten at the time. They were not inclined to listen to their mother in person, let alone a series of sermons on a cassette tape. That is why, one day when he was ridding his closet of clutter, my oldest son sneaked the tape into his sister’s room and hid it in her pile of clean laundry. And when she found it? She dutifully returned it to her brother, this time hiding it in his underwear drawer.
From that time on, they passed the tape back and forth year after year, ever escalating the value of the hiding places. When Tim became a teen and began dating, his girlfriend invited him to dinner at her home. After the meal, she served him lime Jell-O for dessert. Inside the green gelatinous mountain, courtesy of his sister, was the cassette, carefully preserved in a ziplock bag.
When children go off to college, don’t they all look forward to receiving care packages? Our daughter asked a house guest from Wisconsin to take along an unmarked box and mail it to Tim’s campus mail box. He ripped open the out-of-state package with enthusiasm only to find not home-baked cookies but Grampa’s sermons.
When our family moved out of state for a year, our daughter Prisca was still in high school. She played volleyball for her new school’s team, and at the end of the season, the coach called her out at halftime for special recognition in front of all the fans.
“Prisca has been a powerful assist to our team this year, and we will miss her greatly next year,” he concluded. Then he presented her with a beautifully wrapped gift. Flushed with pleasure, Prisca returned to the bench, pulled off the ribbon and lifted the lid of the box to discover a note from her brother and . . . the infamous plastic cassette.
Did anyone ever listen to the sermons? Yes. Driving across the country on a road trip, Tim stuck them in his tape deck. Hearing his grandfather’s voice was far sweeter than, um, lime Jell-O.
“Everything that is now hidden . . . will eventually be brought to light,” Mark 4:22 (NLT).
The author is busy listening to sermon tapes. Visit her at www.emilychase.com to learn about her books, including Help! My Family’s Messed Up!