I’m against beer. So is my wife. Put me in the “I’m-against-beer-for-life-category.” But one summer day a few years ago my Lois had a weak moment. She was tempted to buy a beer. She read somewhere that if you use beer on your lawn it will be green and lush and thick. (If that was true I might smear it on my head every day. I would be willing to risk green if I could have lush and thick). I’m old school. I think it’s just another one of Satan’s subtle tactics to get beer in your refrigerator.
She didn’t agree. I issued direct orders not to buy beer at any time for any reason. If I am ever dying of thirst and beer is the only drink available I say, let me die without defiling my lips with beer. I’ll just go to heaven beerless. I don’t want beer. I don’t want beer in my home. I don’t ever want my children or grandchildren to buy beer, and I especially don’t want my wife to buy beer.
She is a willful little thing sometimes and she thinks my perfectly reasonable demands are unreasonable. She refused to listen. I did what I rarely have to do. I laid down the law. “Absolutely not. Do not buy beer. Do not put beer on the lawn.”
She said, “I’m going to. I will just drive five miles out of town where no one knows us.”
I reminded her that God knows and warned her that buying beer would be direct disobedience of my specific command. “No beer, ever. Never. Do not buy the beer. The lawn does not need beer.”
“You are being unreasonable. I’m just going to buy one can and put it in the sprayer and get rid of the can away right away. I’m not going to drink any. I will tell them what I am doing with it. I will turn the can in right away.”
“No beer. NO,” I emphatically stated. If you buy beer and put it on the lawn I am going to pray the lawn dies. Don’t do it. Beer is dangerous and disgusting, even on the lawn. I don’t want you or any of the family around the stuff ever. NO.”
I went to work and later that day the evil plan was initiated. She drove out of town, against my wishes. She bought a can of beer, poured it onto her sprayer canister, returned the can for the deposit, and then hurried home and mixed it up in a little “lawn cocktail” and sprayed it in the yard.
It is rare for me to give Lois any direct orders. She is very bright. She has great judgment and good character. She is very loyal and has been for thirty-years (if you don’t count her insistence on rooting for the Michigan Wolverines every fall) but two or three times I have given her very direct orders and she has stumbled into sin over her strong will. They usually don’t work out well. I am quick to document that and remind her, as an agent in her personal sanctification.
This was one such time. If you buy us dinner we will tell you the other time. It makes a really great party-story. It’s funny enough to risk a night on the couch.
I found out what she had done and began to pray down curses on the lawn. To my everlasting delight the lawn never looked worse. It was all spotty thin like the top of my head. The next year Lois spread regular commercial fertilizer from down at Wal-Mart and we never had a prettier lawn. Lois says it was because the beer treatment the year before made the grass come up in seed heads. I say that was just because the grass was so spindly that we didn’t need to cut it until it grew up to seeds.
I just say, like my old pastor friend Levi Whisner, “Bud you’d be wiser if you never touched the stuff.”
April 13, 2009
You can listen to the story of Levi Whisner’s life here