A Pastor’s Pet Peeve

A Pastor’s Pet Peeve

I am gonna let you in on a little secret that does not need to get into the wrong hands. The “wrong hands” would be….the 3rd Saturday breakfast crew, the church staff or a couple of people I will only identify as “Tony B.” and “Hugh B.” Fortunately, not many folks read the weekly ramblings of yours truly. So I am fairly secure in sharing this privileged, personal information. 

It drives me crazy when someone looks at me, places their finger to their pursed lips and says, “shhhhhhhh” There, I said it. I don’t like being “shushed.” My college chums discovered that this was my kryptonite when I attended CCU (Clemson Christian University) and took deep pleasure in making sure I was “shushed” as often as possible. 

Without any intense psychological therapy, I think I discovered where my aversion to the “shhhhhhhhh” came from. I was momma’s baby boy and also the most talkative of the Oliver kids. In fact, my exasperated mother once told me, after I betrayed a family secret, that I talked too loud and too much. I immediately ran to my grandmother and shared with her my mother’s harsh words and she “mom shamed” my dear momma before there was such a thing. 

So you can imagine my shock and disbelief that folks can’t hear me that well anymore. Old Parkinson’s is having his way with my voice box. Over the past five years, I have heard “huh,” “say what,” “beg your pardon” more than I care to mention and I am sure that the sermons can get somewhat unintelligible at times when my voice goes to what Kim and I describe as “the pitiful whisper.” I guess it goes with the territory. 

I want to thank you, my dear congregation, for your patience as I whisper at times and lapse into “Auctioneer Mode” (speedy speech) at the most inopportune moments. I also want to thank those who have told me they can’t hear me sometimes. This lets me know that you actually want to hear what I have to say. I’m flattered, not offended. 

In August and September, I will be taking speech therapy at Frye Hospital in Hickory. I hope this will be helpful. My goals are to be louder and slower in my speech and to have people “shush” me for being a loudmouth again. Something tells me, however, that there are enough troublemakers in this congregation (see paragraph one) who will say “shhhhhhhh”….whether therapy works or not. 

Andy O. (704) 300-0062