Brother Halbert is the very man I've been trying to avoid since we moved back in June. I'm very careful with the places I choose to walk while we're at church just so I can avoid a chance meeting with him. I screen my unknown phone calls very closely just in case it's Brother Halbert on the other end. But as much caution as I've taken, the inevitable happened a few weeks ago. While out in the hallway with Bodie, I started chatting with some other ladies in the ward and lost track of Bodie. I quickly went around the corner to snatch him and it was there that I bumped right into Brother Halbert. How could I be so careless?? My first instinct was to grab Bodie, turn around and run. But he started to talk to me before I could get away.
He began by telling me that he was going to ask me a question he'd never asked a woman before. "What?!?!?!" "Are you expecting a baby?" he asked. Anyone who has seen me in the last couple of months knows that really isn't a question they need to ask. It's quite obvious I have a little something cooking in the oven. "Yes," I replied. Then he proceeded to tell me he's going to ask me another question that I have the choice to say yes or no to. "Would you and your husband be willing to speak in Sacrament Meeting on October 19th?" he asked. "But," he says, "I always give pregnant ladies the opportunity to say no if you're not feeling well or you think it's something you can't do right now."
I can't tell you how bad I wanted to take him up on his pregnancy offer. I'd never heard of the pregnancy offer and I had the perfect chance to use it as my "Get Out Of Speaking Pass". I was so tempted, but knew I'd feel so guilty if I did. So my response was, "Oh sure. We'd love to have the opportunity to speak in church."
Does that count against me as a lie? Because it really was a lie. I really, really, really would NOT love the opportunity to speak. I spend a good portion of my life hoping not to get that call.
But speaking is exactly what we'll be doing come Sunday morning. My talk has been thought about and rolled over in my head, but far from finished. Somehow I've found every excuse to put it off, including writing this post.
Just to make my "opportunity" sting a little more, I went out with several ladies in the ward last night who each told me how many years they've been in the ward and that they've never had to speak. Mmmm...how is it that we've been asked to speak in EVERY ward we've ever been in. What's the secret??? How do some people somehow slide under men like Brother Halbert's radar.
Maybe the trick is to really look at it like an opportunity instead of a burden. Maybe the radar only picks up on those of us with the bad attitude. OK...from now on I'm going to have a super positive attitude about speaking in church. Maybe then I won't get called.
(I'll let you know how soon Brother Halbert calls to ask us to speak again).