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Frown

Shortly after I got married, over 30 years ago, I was sitting in a church service listening to the sermon when my wife leaned over and whispered, “What’s the matter? Don’t you agree with the preacher?”

 I whispered back, “No, I think it’s a great sermon. Why?”

 She said, “You’re frowning. Your face is all scrunched up like you’re very unhappy. You shouldn’t do that. You’re going to make the minister think you don’t agree with what he is saying.”

 “Nonsense,” I answered. “I was just concentrating on the sermon.”

 I was newly married and didn’t think my wife knew what she was talking about. I ignored her comments.

 A couple of years later, I was preaching in my home church, in the town where I had grown up. Just after I started preaching, I looked out over the congregation, and there was my mother with a terrible scowl on her face.

 I thought, “Oh, no. I must have said something wrong, something she disagrees with theologically, or stepped on somebody’s toes or said something that people will take the wrong way. I wonder what I could have said.”

 My mother kept that same scowl on her face through the entire sermon.

 After church, we went to my mother’s place for dinner, and I found a quiet moment to talk to her. “You had a terrible scowl on your face all through the sermon,” I said. “Didn’t you like the sermon? Did I say something wrong?”

 “No,” she answered. “I thought it was a great sermon. I was just concentrating.”

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