Monday, September 6, 2010

Al Mohler on Greeting Cards

Smokey and I have been listening to Words from the Fire by Dr. R. Albert Mohler on the commute into work. We both couldn't help but laugh when Dr. Mohler shares this story:

A word of confession to those of the female gender. You need to know that we men are not good at the greeting card thing. We are not adept at this for several reasons. First, it is just hard to bring ourselves to pay that much for painted paper. Second, the words on the card don't match our kind of verbal expression—we just don't talk that way. Part of it is just the sheer embarrassment from realizing that we could never quite say all that florid prose with a straight face. Still, greeting cards do express something like what men want to express, and we do pay an unconscionable amount of money for this coated paper, which we then give to our loved one.

A few years ago, just days before the event, I realized I was in serious trouble because I was cardless for one of the major occasions of life—Mother's Day. So I quickly went and bought a card. I was successful in bringing home the card, signing the card, and even adding a personal note to my dear wife, Mary. I commented about her sweetness, fidelity, love, giving, and self-sacrifice, not only as my wife but as the mother of our children. I was even successful in remembering where the card was; and so, with great satisfaction (which is another one of the characteristics of the male of the species; when we actually remember to bring the card, there is inordinate self-satisfaction), I presented it to her. However, as Mary read the card, I noticed that her face did not match my expectation of what her face should betray.

So here are two rules of the greeting card thing I learned that day. Rule number one is remember to get the card. Rule number two is read the card before you give it. That is, read it thoroughly. In the expression of this greeting card I thanked my wife for so successfully blending together our two families—something that heretofore she had not been aware had been done. I had inadvertently chosen a "blended family" card without reading the message. My faux pas has become a part of our family lore. It is a part of my humiliation, and it is a part of my urgent exhortation to other husbands—read the card before you give it!

On a more serious note, Smokey and I have also enjoyed listening to audio recordings of Dr. Mohler's blog, which he started doing periodically in response to a suggestion we submitted. We were disappointed when these recordings ceased, but we are excited about trying out the two new podcasts he is starting this month.

Last but not least, it's worth pointing out that Dr. Mohler has just started teaching verse-by-verse through the Book of Hebrews. I've added his Powerline podcast to my iTunes subscriptions and am hoping I'll find time to keep up.

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