A few weeks ago, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came to me with a question. I'm always very cautious whenever that happens because it could be a trap.
"Next Saturday I have to go and pick up something. It's about an hour away, and I wonder if you could come with me?"
This is a new one. So I asked her, "What are you going to be picking up?"
That's a straightforward question with no strings attached.
She looked at me for a few moments and finally said, "It's a secret, and I don't want to tell you yet."
That was enough to put me on my guard. A secret? What kind of a secret could this be?
So I ask her, "What is the secret?"
She didn't respond right away, but finally, she said very soberly, "I don't want to tell you right now. It's a secret, and you'll understand when we get there."
I don't mind secrets as long as they are my secrets. But when The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has a secret, the red flags begin waving.
Thinking about it for a few moments, I thought I should go along with her, so I said, "If you need me to go with you, I'll be glad to go."
Hoping to trip her up, I said, "And what is the secret?"
She looked at me, smiled, and walked away.
For her to have a secret and then want me to help her facilitate that secret without telling me what it is, is beyond my pay scale. As long as we've been married, I've never heard her ask for this kind of favor.
Of course, this kind of favor could work in my favor down the line. Whenever I want something, I could always say, "Do you remember that secret I helped you with a few years ago?" I'm sure I could use it for some value at the proper time.
For the last few weeks, I noticed she's been searching for things on her computer, but there's no way in the world I'm going to get on her computer and try to figure out what she was searching for.
Finally, the Saturday came, and she said, "Are you ready to go?"
"And," I said staggeringly, "what are we going for?"
"You'll find out in due time."
I didn't know what I was in for, and I did not know how to prepare for it. I'm not very good at handling secrets, especially if they're not my secrets.
We finally arrived at our destination, and my wife parked her van there was a lady on the sidewalk waiting for us.
My wife looked at me and said, "That's the lady who has my secret."
We got out of the van and I walked rather slowly towards the lady, not knowing if I should shout or run. She did not look like a dangerous lady with a dangerous secret, but I was going to be cautious nevertheless.
We greeted her, and my wife introduced me to her; then we walked to the back of her van, and I found out what that secret was.
I didn't quite know how to handle the secret or what to make of it, but I just smiled and helped transfer this "secret" from the lady's van to my wife's van.
As the transfer took place, my jaw dropped. I really could not believe what I was seeing. There was a harp and all the things that went with it. The secret was my wife had just purchased a professional harp. I did not know what she was going to make of it, but our travel home was very interesting as she described this new interest to me in detail.
In the next several weeks, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage learned how to play the harp. She watched a bunch of videos and was quite a fast learner.
She played the piano for years and did it for all our church services as long as I knew her. From what she told me, playing the piano helped her learn how to play the harp.
Every time I came home, I walked into the house and she was sitting there with her harp playing it. I discovered she was quite good with this harp as I listened to it.
I did not know very much about this kind of an instrument; as far as I was concerned, only angels played harps in heaven, which got me wondering.
Is there another secret that I don't know about?
Could she be playing this harp, preparing me for heaven?
I know my wife knows everything, and maybe there is this other secret she's not telling me for a reason.
One consolation is she's not playing fireballs. I can handle the harp preparing me for heaven, so I just sit back every time she played and enjoyed it.
After all, angels do play harps, and my wife is getting better at it every day.
As she was playing her harp I thought of a verse of Scripture. “I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel” (Psalms 71:22).
It’s going to be a wonderful time in heaven as we gather together listening to the Angels play their harps as we worship the Lord together.
[Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.jamessnyderministries.com.]