Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do You Want a Spanking?

When our kids were kids, we traveled and sang on Sunday evenings and vacation times. Kevin and I like to believe people enjoyed our original music, but I think they were attracted by the children’s singing, and their unpredictable antics.

One church we performed an evening concert for had their restrooms in a separate building from the main auditorium. Before the concert, I headed across the parking lot to the ladies’ room. I thought Ron was with Kevin, but he’d followed me, waiting outside the door.

It was crowded that night, so I had to stand in line. I hadn’t even taken my turn yet when the racket started:

“Mommmyyyy! Are you in there, Mommmy? Can you hurry up, please?”

I didn’t want to lose my place in line by opening the door to tell him hush, so I just counted the specks in the tiles on the floor, pretending to feel sorry for whoever’s little blessing was outside hollering. I prayed that the line would speed up or Ron would shut up. Neither did. By the time I was ready to leave, my blood was boiling.

I stomped across the room and flung open the door, shouting into the darkness, “Do you want a spanking?”

An older lady stared back with a shocked expression. “No, I don’t.”

“Oh I’m so sorry,” I said, my cheeks hot. I didn’t even try to explain, just rushed out to find my little circus barker turned Houdini. I found him around the corner of the building where he’d conveniently slipped seconds before. As I ushered him across the parking lot, I delivered the Mom’s lecture #34: Unless you are bleeding or the house is on fire, do not interrupt me when I’m going potty. Especially if I’m in a public restroom with fourteen other ladies.

Although we travelled and sang over fifteen years and performed hundreds of concerts, I always wanted our ministry to reach farther afield.

One day I was lamenting to the Lord how small a difference I felt we made in His Kingdom. I wanted to be Sandi Patti and Michael W. Smith with the Von Trapp Family Singers. Comparison never leads anywhere holy, so the Lord stopped me with his gentle voice in my heart.

“Jeanette, yours is a ministry of encouragement. You may not perform a glamorous program, but your songs give hope. How important is the gift of hope when you’re discouraged?”

“Oh, Lord, I’d give my right arm and elbow for a glimmer of hope when I’m ready to quit.” Then He reminded me of a concert we’d sung a few weeks before.

In the back row sat a forty-ish man who gazed with unblinking eyes the entire thirty minutes we sang. His face was a rock. I wondered if we were getting through to this brother at all. Still, I sang my heart out for the Master, pouring my voice onto His altar.

At the end of the concert, Mr. Brickface came to me. With tear-filled eyes and cracking voice he said, “I want to tell you how much your ministry encouraged me. I am bipolar. Your music lifted me to Heaven tonight. Thank you so much for coming to our church and singing.” His words showed me that our ministry, although not worldwide or flashy, was touching lives and helping people find a ray of light for their darkened lives.

We rarely travel and sing these days. But I like to think our music planted some hope in at least a few hearts along the way. Even if one lady is wondering why a crazy redhead asked if she wanted a spanking outside the ladies’ room twenty-some years ago.

Jeanette Levellie is a pastor's wife, mother, grandmother, prolific writer, speaker, and servant to three cats. You can find her humorous/inspirational musings at Wings of Mirth and Worth.

Bookmark and Share


  1. Such a funny story. Such a great reminder! And no--comparison and competition NEVER lead anywhere holy.

  2. I shall be wary of a red-head in the bathroom line now! :) When attending the small concerts, I always feel more connected to the musicians than in big, crowded venues. And some people, for reasons such as money and health, cannot attend the large forums but thankfully there are music ministries such as yours that can reach many.

  3. No, comparison never leads anywhere. I have often wondered why my husband and I have never done anything "big" for God, but really, that is just pride.

  4. LOL, That sounds like something I would do. I'm in that Don't-bother-mommy-in-the-bathroom stage right now. :)

  5. Oh, Jeanette, what a cute story! And a lovely one about your singing ministry. We'll never know this side of heaven who has been touched with His hand through us.

  6. Funny story . . . but some powerful, practical thoughts! The line "comparisons never lead anywhere holy" really jumped off the computer screen at me! So . . . you are still touching hearts!

  7. I love this, Jeanette. It's so funny, so true, and so well written. Thank you!

  8. Love it!!
    It is amazing what we can do for God with the tiniest speck of earth, as long as that earth is "Holy Ground," dedicated to Him.
    Great reminder, Jeanette. Thanks so much!

  9. Hi Jen -

    Funny story! Wish I could have heard the Levellie Family Singers. :)


  10. That was a great post! We just never know how God is using us to help others.

  11. What a great reminder, thanks Jeanette! :)

  12. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments. After a long day, I am overwhelmed by your love!