Chappy’s corner: “What did you say?”

A man walked into the kitchen and said, “Hey, gal do you want to go out?” His wife standing by the sink turned around and said, “I would love it. Just give me a minute to get ready.”  So they went out for dinner and then a nice stroll in the park.  On their walk the man turned to his wife and confessed, “When I said “hey gal do you want to go out.” I was speaking to our dog by the door.”

That man is unique.  When his wife mistook his words, he didn’t try to change her mind.  Instead he went with her wishes, but instead of keeping up the pretense, he confessed to the mix up in communication.  I’m not that man.

Many times I have tried to explain something  to my lovely wife and the words fail me, worst yet, she often tells me something to do (or not to do) and I forget it.  We both refer to this as selective hearing.  We hear what we want to hear and conveniently block out the rest.   Many children have this selective hearing when told it is time to go to bed or to eat their vegetables.

Now poor communication in the military can lead to disasters in the battles we fight, that is why good communication is so important.  In our daily lives poor communications with others can lead to unnecessary battles in our homes, churches or places of work. For that reason we need to make sure that we hear and understood correctly what the other person was saying and that they understand what we are saying.

In the earlier story the man was talking to the dog, but what if he had referred to his wife as a “dog”. That might lead to an angry argument.  In fact, it could be a form of abuse. To refer to a person in a derogatory way is not right, and yet sadly it happens.  In the movie “42” which is about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, many people referred to Jackie with racist terms.  Some might say “that was just the way it was back then”, but that doesn’t make it right.  To refer to a person as a “dog” or some other negative term is not right, and it needs to be corrected quickly by those who misspoke.

For example:  A preacher stood in an old pulpit and preached the gospel message of Jesus coming to save the world by His suffering, death and resurrection and through Jesus there is forgiveness and eternal life for all who trust in Him.  The minister went on to preach about Jesus coming back for the final judgment.  He shouted, “The Lord says “I am coming soon!”  He repeated the line “I’m coming soon” three times and each time he pounded the pulpit. The last time, the pulpit fell apart and the minister tumbled into the lap of an elderly lady in the front pew. The minister stood up and said, “Oh, please excuse me madam.” The lady replied, “Oh, you don’t need to apologize, you told me three times you were coming.”

There was a misunderstanding on what he had said, but both people were quick to apologize and to forgive, as God has forgiven them.  Like them all of us will slip up in what we say. But hopefully we will be quick to confess when we have said the wrong thing and quick to forgive when someone has offended us by what they said.

That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota

CH (COL) David Gunderson