By James Snyder
During this time of exclusive lock down, I and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage have grown accustomed to silence.
Don’t get me wrong here. I do not object to noise as long as it’s the right kind of noise. However, I do have a good warm feeling about silence. What was that song? “The Sounds of Silence.”
Silence is wonderful and soothing, enabling me to sit back and enjoy a good read. There is nothing like reading a book, and from my point of view, I have not read a book unless I have read it ten times. If it is a good book, the more I read it, the better it is.
My wife, on the other hand, when she has read a book that is the end of it. Even with some TV shows, when she has seen it once, that is all she needs. Me, if I like a TV show, I love watching it repeatedly.
I do not know if it’s me or not, but I seem to find something I did not see before every time I reread a book. That’s what makes reading a book over and over exciting for me.
Just as I was getting adjusted to “The Sounds of Silence,” our routine changed drastically. I really did not see this coming.
I have the habit of giving gift cards to my wife on her birthday, at Christmas, on Mother’s Day, and any other holiday that comes along. I do not seem to be able to keep up with all these holidays. It is easier than trying to figure out what in the world she likes at the time. I feel that if she has the gift-card, she can get what she wants, and will like it.
Last Tuesday as my wife went to the front door, she turned, looked at me and said, “Honey,” (I think she calls me “Honey” because she can’t remember my name), “I’m going to go shopping this morning and use some of those wonderful gift cards I got.”
I certainly gave her my blessing and told her, “Drive carefully.” Then I threw her a wink.
When the door closed behind her, I snuggled down into one of my good books and enjoyed the silence surrounding me.
It was a long morning, and finally, I heard my wife backing into the driveway and parked her van. She came to the door and asked if I could help her put some things into the garage.
Now, our garage is not the typical garage. I seldom go into the garage because my wife has made it her workshop, which has been all right with me. I have my space, she has her space, and the two shall never collide.
As we took the package out of her van, I asked, “What did you get?”
“I got a power saw for my workshop. Lowe’s was having a sale, and I couldn’t refuse.”
“What do you need a power saw for?”
“I just have a few projects in my workshop, and this will come in handy.”
To each its own, I thought to myself. I helped her get it set up, she said a gracious thank you, and I went back inside to read. I was happy that she was happy, and that always makes for a good time.
I just settled in and was reading the next chapter in my book and enjoying the silence around me when suddenly I heard what sounded like an explosion.
Burrrrrrrrrrr. It seemed to get louder and louder. The very room where I was setting shook with the racket.
Not knowing what was happening, I jumped out of my chair and ran to the garage as fast as I could. The closer I got to the garage, the louder the sound was. I knew something terrible was happening.
When I got into the garage where my wife was, the saw was running as loud as I have ever heard anything, and she was cutting boards. When I saw her, I noticed the biggest smile I’ve seen on her face in a long time.
“Is there anything wrong,” I shouted over the noise.
She heard me, turned off the power saw, looked at me with that smile still on her face and said, “Nothing. I’m only testing my power saw to make sure it works.”
Then she turned back to the power saw, turned it on, and the noise resumed. I could see she was happy and enjoying herself, as I have not seen her lately. I guess all the silence in our home has come to an end.
I walked back to my chair, sat down, and listened to the sound coming from the garage. I thought to myself; this will be the “new normal” for our home.
For a few moments, I just sat there, thinking and listening, and I came to a marvelous conclusion. If this is what makes my wife happy, then I too, am happy. For the rest of the day, I enjoyed “The Absence of Silence” filling our home.
I remembered what I once read in the book of Proverbs. “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding” (Proverbs 3:13).
Wisdom and understanding can have a practical application. When I have the wisdom to know what makes my wife happy, I will understand what true happiness is.