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Excerpt 3

One particular sermon that our pastor delivered some years ago was about our moral obligation as Christians to practice one of the basic tenets of Christian life: Give Up Your Worldly Possessions. There happened to be communion that night, and as tall, dark, and stoic Pastor Sidener leaned down to place the wafer in Amy’s palm, she noticed, and greatly admired, the Rolex watch that he was wearing. True to form, Amy hadn’t listened to one word of the sermon, but she had taken note of the minister’s flashing, shining, gold watch, and how much she wanted a watch like that for herself. So when we filed out of the sanctuary, Amy shook Pastor Sidener’s hand and said to him, with all sincerity, “Nice watch.”
Immediately, I put my hand to my face, pulling at the corners of my mouth in a desperate attempt to keep from bursting out laughing, as Amy’s most perfectly unintentional, perfectly timed two little words – Nice watch – made Pastor Sidener’s smile completely dissolve. And blinking at Amy through a haze of uncertainty, mistakenly thinking she had hung on his every word during the service, Pastor Sidener looked as though he had just been caught cheating on a test by a fourteen-year-old.
When Amy and I stepped out onto the parking lot, I couldn’t contain my delight at having witnessed this implausible sequence…

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