This is a story my mom told me years ago while I was sitting in my kitchen. I nearly fell off my seat laughing. Joyce and her friend Joyce’s constant contact makes the story even sweeter. My mom is the best. Today, enjoy your mom or at the very least remember her. God bless mothers!
In 1938, when I was eight years of age, the preacher at Ossian’s church, Indiana, made an unexpected announcement: “The person who brings most people to church the next Sunday will win a trophy.”
My mind raced around the world prize. I wondered, what if they were giving away dolls? The next day, I was looking for someone to invite to recess. Joyce, a new girl in town, seemed like a good prospect. I met Joyce quickly and asked her to come.
She said that she was willing to go the next day. Joyce asked me if she needed a ride. I asked Joyce if she needed a ride. She replied that her parents would take her.
Sunday morning, I was eager to go to church with my friend and dressed quickly. Upon arrival, I had a delightful surprise. Joyce’s parents, five siblings and five brothers waited outside the church. I could almost feel the porcelain features of the doll under my fingers.
The sermon seemed to go on forever. He closed his Bible, asked everyone to stand and introduce themselves, and then told them who had brought them.
Joyce’s father stated that they were new to town and that I was their first to ask to go to church. I blushed profusely when asked to stand when being asked.
The preacher welcomed all newcomers. I moved in my chair. I wiggled in my seat.
The preacher stated, “We thank our guests for coming today.” We are grateful to everyone who invited someone. One person did more than was expected. She has committed her work to the Lord, according to the Bible.
Guilt took over my life. When Joyce asked me to go to church, I didn’t think about God. I wanted the prize.
“Joan, would it be possible for you to come up here?”
I was the winner! I was almost ready to clap my hands to speed them along, and the preacher nodded at someone behind me. My back was turned, so I couldn’t see what was brought in. When the boys in the front row started to snicker, I knew something was wrong. When “the prize” was presented, my excitement turned to disbelief.
The preacher sat down on my shoulder and offered his kind assistance. He said, “Unfortunately our prize probably not something a child dreams about winning.”
He was correct. I had never thought of buying twenty-five pounds of flour.
The congregation laughed, and I returned to my pew. I didn’t cry, but I wanted to.
Understanding, Joyce squeezed my hand.
Although my parents couldn’t afford to purchase me a doll, I was able to get over it. Joyce and I became besties and stayed together through high school.
We live close to each other, and we still get together sometimes. We laugh about the “pile” of dough that brought us together.