I have to admit it shocked me. There are very few things that accomplish that these days because as a pastor for over 30 years, I think I have just about seen and heard it all. I remember the time when a young lady took a spiritual gift inventory and actually answered the questions in such a way that she had every spiritual gift covered by the inventory – and she actually believed that she had them all. I have counseled “Christian” men who see nothing wrong in abusing (physical and emotional) their wives because that’s what they believe it means for wives to be submissive. Arguments in deacon’s meetings that almost broke out into fist fights (by the way, this hasn’t happened at Southside), business meetings that almost erupted into fist fights, and people refusing to shake my hand in the church. Yes, these are only a few of the things that I feel comfortable mentioning, but let me just say that I am seldom surprised by what people do.
But this one got me. It took the form of a texting conversation between my family members. As we often do, we started a conversation via text that got kind of silly (I could elaborate on some of these conversations but you would start laughing so hard that you would never finish reading my blog). Little did we know that our granddaughter, Hayes, had her mother’s phone and joined in the conversation. Hayes loves to use the autosuggest option on the iPhone where you start typing a word and then you have the option to pick one of three words on the screen. Sometimes it gets very weird especially when you think it is her mother texting. For instance, in the middle of the conversation about our Christmas tree that we decorated and then undecorated this year, “Jennifer” typed Qtips. To which Rob typed Laser pointers, and Sonya typed Pencils. I could tell you about some more of the texts, but one of them that came from Jennifer’s phone at the hand of Hayes had to do with the bodily functions of a dog. It wasn’t a bad word; it just didn’t fit. So I typed, “I love Hayes.” Now you have to understand that our family is affectionate to the extreme. We tell each other, “I love you” all of the time. We hug and kiss and are known for our PDA (as Lamar Smith calls it). Well, Hayes is very much part of this, and usually she would reply to a text like mine with, “I love you, too, Bampy” (Bampy is what she calls me, and maybe one day I will explain that one to you, but not now). But this time, she shocked me. Caught me totally off guard. I actually thought her mother had taken the phone away from her and was trying to have a little fun with me because the text that came back read, “I have a deep regard for u as well bampy.” That is the exact text. “I have a deep regard for u as well.” It blew me out of my socks. Rob laughed at me because he had gotten the same response the night before. He then told me that it came from a movie about Sherman and Mr. Peabody. Wow, a sense of relief washed over me (not really; I am being overly dramatic) when I realized that she was just having fun.
But it did catch me off-guard, and I was certainly glad that when next I saw her she ran to me and gave me a big hug and kiss and said, “I love you, Bampy.” Now if I could just get Lucy to stop running away from me when I try to get kisses from her. Maybe that will be tomorrow’s blog – and then I will make a point that you will want to hear. So tune back in tomorrow to read the rest of the story.