Brother Thoms’ Father’s Day Sunday sermon, which was supposed to be on the subject, “Supporting Father and Husband in their Priesthood Responsibilities,” wandered onto his hobby horse—women and the apocalypse. It was pretty vibrant and apocalyptic, and as usual, he rode it hard. A great amount of detail was put into length of skirts, wearing jeans in the chapel, busty blouses, low neck hems, and hellfire. Many of the young men in the congregation were slavering. They surreptitiously peeked around to see just whom old Ike was talking about. The young women squirmed. The congregation generally nodded their heads, either in sleep or agreement.
Either one–sleep or agreement–in the opinion of Addy Turmileing was an anathema to God. She hoped against prayer that Bishop Turmileing, her loving and usually sensible husband, would step up from his seat behind the podium, put his hand on Ike’s great hulky shoulders, and tell him to shut the hell up. But there were two problems, as Addy knew, with this scenario. First, her husband may be sensible, but he was also a wimp when it came to confrontation with his congregation—or just about anything else. There was no way he was going to hinder Ike in his rant. And if by any chance he would do it, he would not use the word hell.
So, Addy took matters into her own hands. The person speaking on the agenda after Ike was Veridia, Ike’s mouse of a wife. The intermediate hymn between their talks happened to be the Primary Children singing “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” and “I’m So Glad When Daddy Comes Home.” And Addy took the chaos of children moving back to their seats in the congregation, after their sweet singing, to walk up to the podium ahead of Veridia.
She grasped the podium with two trembling hands.
“Hi, brothers and sisters. What lovely songs from the children. They were just wonderful.” She heard Veridia behind her crinkling her the yellow legal pad and the several pages of magazine articles that were to be the basis for what everyone knew would be a ramble about loving your husbands and supporting them in the home. “I know this is sort of out of line.” She paused. Paul, her husband, whispered—hissed—”Addy?!” behind her. It was both a Bishop’s “This is not the order of things,” whisper and a husband’s “What are you DOING,” hiss.
“And thank you, dear husband for letting me clarify a few points.” She did her speakers nod at the authority behind her, still clinging to the podium. “And,” She went on, “A few points do need clarifying.”
“First, I want to assure every single mother, daughter, and sister sitting here dutifully with their husband, dad, or brother, God loves you.
“God loves you.
“Let’s get our head around that. He loves you.
There is a story in the Bible—I forget where exactly, but you all know the one I’m talking about. Where Jesus was asked who were our neighbors that we are suppose to love. And he said, basically everybody. Even girls who wear mid-thigh skirts, even moms who jean-up for meeting because they have a kid’s soccer game to do on Sunday and so are also breaking the Sabbath, too, even young—and not so young sometimes—sisters who love wearing a certain dress in spite of its bust revelations—or even sometimes because of the revelation. You are all loved.
“And you are loved in the same manner that the old letch who finds these things something to goggle at.”
“Yes, even him, even that almost-pervert is loved by our Lord in the same way that the woman of many husbands or the adulteress brought before Jesus by a bunch of old letches. Even David looking down from his roof at Bathsheba dressed with neither hem nor short skirt. Even that David is loved by our Lord.”
“I guess that does it. We are all loved and none of us are hell bound.
“I leave this with you in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
The “Amen” that answered her from the congregation had a strong feminine tone.
Apologies if this is a bit ragged on the spelling, punctuation, and etc. But my wife is tugging at my sleeve. We are late for church.