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  • Writer's pictureRev. James L. Snyder

Perspective/Pastor’s Corner

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After about a month on a health hiatus, things started returning to normal, and then I had a doctor’s visit scheduled for a checkup.

At my visit, the doctor thoroughly examined me but couldn’t find anything wrong, and then I saw him standing there scratching his chin. Then he said, “I wonder if maybe you had a mini stroke?”

He looked at me a little bit and then said, “I think maybe you did have a mini stroke and we need to take some more examinations to check it out. I’ll schedule you for an MRI next week. I want to see if maybe there is any brain damage.”

Quite often, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would tell me when I screwed something up, “Do you have a brain or what?”

She will also tell me when I don’t get things done precisely on schedule, “Where is your brain today?”

A few weeks ago, I was trying to fix something, and nothing was going right. Then, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage walked in and casually told me, “If only you had a brain.”

What if, for example, the doctor finds I have a brain and has the proof? How would that set with The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage?

If they find my brain, I’ll definitely keep any pictures they might have.

Then, when The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says, “If you only had a brain.” I could pull out the picture of my brain, show it to her, and say, “Oh, my dear, here is a picture of my brain.”

The worst side of this scenario is that if the doctor does find my brain, and has the evidence, then, the worst days of my life begin. No matter what I do, it is my responsibility now. After all, I do have a brain.

I was sitting in my easy chair drinking coffee when The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in and sat down.

She asked me, “Are you ready for your MRI tomorrow?”

I was quiet for a moment, and then, looking at her, I said, “What if they find out that I do not have a brain?”

Without skipping a beat, she said, “Well, if that happens nothing will change. You’ll be the same person you’ve always been.”

Staring at her, she suddenly broke into hysterical laughter.

It took her a while to calm down, and when she did, she explained her laughter.

“As long as I’ve known you, you have worked quite well without using your brain. I’m sure that will continue for a long time yet to come.”

I’m not sure when, but one of these days, I will use my brain and surprise her. I’m not sure how she will handle that shock, and I’m not sure how I will do it. I’m just going to have to wait for the results of the MRI.

As I was waiting for my doctor’s appointment, I thought of Bible verses in James 1:19-20, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

My father always told me, “Listen and think before you speak.” This has been the great challenge of my life. My tongue does not seem to be attached to my brain for some reason.

Rev. James L. Snyder

Ocala, Fla.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, Fla. where he lives with his wife. Call him at (352) 216-3025 or email His website is


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