To paraphrase one of my favorite humorists, Will Rogers, “All I know is what I read on Facebook.”
I never thought much about this until one day a young person asked me, “How did you know anything before Facebook?”
Looking at this young person, I said very simply, "Before Facebook, we had grandmas."
He did not understand, so I had to try to explain the Grandma-Factor.
My grandmother was a very sweet and wonderful woman. I only knew her when she was older because after all, she was my grandmother.
Unbeknownst to me, she was known in the entire community as the Queen of Gossipers.
According to some conversations I had with her friends, my grandmother knew what was happening two days before it actually happened. For the life of me, I don’t know what that means. Nothing happened in the community that escaped my grandmother’s attention.
If you wanted a rumor started, just visit my grandmother and whisper a confi dential secret. Usually, by the time they got home, that secret was all over the community.
For her 90th birthday, some people in the community wanted to give her a surprise birthday party. They knew, however, it would be very diffi cult to surprise my grandmother.
Several of them met at a restaurant in the next town to work out some details. They came up with many different scenarios, but none seemed to be workable.
Then, one of the older women in the group came up with a plan that would out-gossip the Queen of Gossipers.
The plan was simply this. On a certain night, a group would meet at the church to develop a plan to fi re their pastor. Everybody knew that grandmother loved her pastor to pieces. Anything like this would have gotten her dander up, and you do not want to do that.
The success of the plan depended upon the right person whispering this gossip to my grandmother. Otherwise, she would not really believe it.
The woman who came up with this was my grandmother's closest friend, and so she was chosen. If Grandmother would believe anybody it would be this woman.
At the right time, this woman went to my grandmother and confi dentially whispered the plan to fi re her beloved pastor. "Now, don't let this get out to anybody; this is top secret."
Before the night ended, everybody in the community knew of the plan to "fi re the pastor."
On that night, people came early because it was supposed to be a surprise. It was a wonderful surprise.
At the right time, my grandmother marched into that church, slammed open the door, and said as angrily as she had ever been, “How dare you fi re my pastor?”
At that moment, everybody, including the pastor, burst into singing, “Happy Birthday to You.”
It took a few moments for my grandmother to understand what was really happening. When she fi nally realized what the meeting was really about, she laughed and said, “How did I miss this?”
As I listen to the woman telling me, the story I thought of what David said. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant’ (Psalm 25:14).
Some secrets, like God’s love for me, should be spread far and wide and not kept a secret.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.