“A Spatula for Jesus”

thIt was kept in her kitchen drawer so I could easily grab my wooden prop when visiting my grandmother on the many days my mother would say to me, “Go do something!”

She’d begin her nap and hoping not to be nabbed, my pretend quiz show would begin in her back bedroom.  I wonder now if she wondered while falling to sleep if psychiatric help was available for me in our small town.

This was my time facing her two empty walls but my imaginary full audience.  Holding the spatula firmly in my 11 year old hand I was all those I tried to imitate – Don Pardo, Jack Kennedy, Gene Rayburn, Johnny Olsen how many others a young mind absorbs.  It was my glorious sixty minutes while snoring was faintly heard down the hall and a promised braunschweiger sandwich when she awoke.

My stuttering stopped, my poise increased, my delivery was clear and clever as I delivered a message of hope and joy in front of the congregation surrounded by stained glass windows where my grandmother’s one window once was.  I think she’s still napping down the hall while I’m still holding a wooden spatula provided to me by my grandmother.

Often after Mass I still wait for the braunschweiger sandwich.  It was pretending to be all those people in my grandmother’s home and now it’s providential pretending to be who I’m called to be in front of you.

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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