39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. ~ Luke 8:39 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
Seth Madison Cash is a man of few words. And when he was a toddler, he hardly talked at all. He was a highly intelligent child, constantly busy, always building brilliant things. It was so interesting to watch him (silently) go about his daily business. He was always in motion, doing things — good things — but he just didn’t say anything in the process.
When Spencer was 6 and Seth was 3, Susan was a stay-at-home mom. By the time the end of the week rolled around, Susan was ready for some peace and quiet and a little “alone time”. So, even though we had very little extra money at the time, the boys and I had a weekly routine. Every Saturday we went to Morrison’s Cafeteria for lunch. The boys could get a chicken leg, mashed potatoes and Jell-O for $2.50, and I got the blue plate special. After that, we went to do whatever-you-could-do-for-free in Meridian, Mississippi. Seth ate red gelatin and took in the sights, but he did not talk.
One Saturday we all went to a local mall to do all the things that did not cost money. For some unknown reason, there was a man in the mall who had a big cage full of baboons. (The man was just there for one weekend.) They were the kind of baboons that have striped faces and red rear-ends. Seth didn’t say anything, but he watched the monkeys for a long time.
The next Saturday the boys and I went to Meridian for our weekly outing. We ate lunch, and then we went to the public library. After that, I went to get on the interstate to go home, and in doing so, we passed the mall we had been at the previous weekend. And at that moment, Seth decided he would speak complete sentences.
He said, “I want to see a monkey. I want to see a monkey booty.”
(Read that aloud like a robot, or maybe a Norwegian man perfectly pronouncing a sentence out of a Norwegian/English phrasebook. Then you’ll have the inflection down about right.)
I told Seth we didn’t have time to stop and also that the man with the monkey-booties wasn’t at the mall that day.
Seth said, “I want to see a monkey. I want to see a monkey booty.” In fact, he said those two sentences over and over for the next 28 miles.
Not too long ago, I asked Seth why he never said anything before that moment. Why had he always been so silent before?
He thought about it and gave a very good answer. “I don’t know, Dad,” he replied. “I guess everything had been all right until then.”
It’s a very silly story today, but I think we can take a lesson from it. Seth was right. As long as things are going okay, there’s really no reason that a person has to talk. (In fact, the world would probably be a better place if a lot of things that get said were left unsaid.)
But the truth is, things in the world that we’re living in now are definitely not okay. And because of that, it’s high time for people to speak up. This world is in need of the help that only the Lord Jesus can give. And it is time for us to tell the Good News. Who will you speak to on His behalf this week?
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 30 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where Bo Clark is cooking stew for after the Easter cantata tonight.) Their kids include Spencer (age 24), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.