This weekend we were horrible friends to our neighbors and friends across the street. I am writing this because my pastor has asked me to get it down on paper NOT for confessional purposes but because he thought our "punk" (which wasn't supposed to be a punk) was so funny he wants to tell the story in service at church.
Before I get started with the story I need to tell you that we always have an on going joke with our neighbors who happen to be dear friends of ours. We have an old gym shoe that was found in the middle of the street between our homes and we continue to hide it in each others yard. Greg shines a red laser light into their home almost every Christmas while their family is visiting. We have teased one another so much that when their pear tree was picked clean by squirrels the third year in a row they asked us if we took their pears as a joke. We have Bible studies with these dear people and truly enjoy their friendship. Ok, so on with the betrayal.
This all began a while ago when our friend told us her boss was giving Charlie (our Pastor) tennis lessons. She began singing Charlie's praises to her boss telling him what a wonderful pastor he is and how great our church is. In return her boss this past week told Charlie what an incredible employee and person our friend is and how she is a great example for Southbrook (our church). Charlie then proceeded to tell the boss to please ask her to stop into Guest Central after services this weekend he would like to speak with her.
"The boss" walked into the break room, approached our friend and told her "Charlie would like to see you after services this weekend in Guest Central". She was so surprised she dropped her yogurt and immediately began thinking "why would Charlie want to speak to me after services??? Did I say or do something wrong?"
She then came home and later that evening decided to call us. (this was their first mistake) Greg answered the phone and after being told the story said to them " Well, the only reason I can think Charlie would want to see you after services is you are getting kicked out of church, I will call Charlie and see what he says but if you guys are going down I am not going down with you." They laughed and she yelled in the back ground "See I told you we shouldn't have told Greg... I knew he would say something like that." :)
Now before I go any further I have to say (and anyone who knows us will agree) Greg is the prankster between the two of us. I don't typically think up jokes or ways to "get" people but Greg is in a constant mode of joking and teasing. He has made statements to Leslie and I that we should loosen up a bit more and enjoy the fun world of teasing. Leslie and I are more the serious type in comparison to Greg and Nick. We still have fun, but are more reserved with our fun.
The day after the conversation between Greg and our neighbors I had an ornery streak in me and decided it would be fun to draft up a letter, make it look like it came from Southbrook, and send it to them. They would open the letter, immediately know it was from us and we would all laugh and laugh. (Well, at least that is how I saw the joke unfold in my mind)
I called a good friend of mine who is staff at Southbrook and asked her if she thought I would get in trouble if I used the Southbrook logo to pull a joke on some friends (being the good rule follower I am) and she laughed and said no... they will know it is from you right? "Of course they will know it is from us, Greg just joked with them last night about getting kicked out of church" I said.
So I drafted up the letter, I copied and pasted the Southbrook logo onto the top of the letter and this is how the letter read.
We have been informed recently of your dabbling in our Senior Pastor’s personal life. It is our understanding that you have a business relationship with our pastor’s Tennis instructor and we try very hard as a church to keep his personal life as private as possible. You can understand, due to the size of our church, if we allow one member of our church on “the inside” what that could do to his private time with his family.
We regret to inform you that we need to ask both you and your husband to please not attend Southbrook due to our recent findings. We have enjoyed the time and service you have provided to our church home and we wish you both the best of luck. We hope you understand this difficult decision to act upon the privacy of our Pastor.
Southbrook Christian Church
( I feel sick just reading this right now because of the reaction this letter got from our dear, trusting friends)
Ok, so I even copied and pasted the church logo on the left hand side of the envelope. I waited till Greg got home so he could read it... he loved it of course but said
"We need to sign it or something so they know it is from us".
I said "Really??? They are going to know right away it is from us after they read it."
Greg said "yes, but just to be sure lets write something across the bottom of the letter".
So, I wrote in pen, in my own handwriting. Consider yourself punked G&R smiley face. Greg walked it across the street and placed it in their mailbox. Then we waited.
Around 5:15 after she arrived home from work the phone rang. We saw on the caller ID it was them and started smiling because we knew they had received the letter and were laughing their heads off. WRONG!
Greg answered the phone and she said on the other end (with a shaky voice) "please tell me you guys sent a letter over to our house".
Greg said "what do you mean?"
She said "Please tell me you sent it because if you didn't I am going to cry."
Greg said "did you read the whole letter?"
She said "yes, please tell me you did it."
Greg said " did you read the bottom of the letter?"
She said " Yes, well, wait a minute. ( SHE DIDN'T UNFOLD IT ALL THE WAY) then she saw the consider yourself punked part.
She honestly thought she was getting kicked out of church! She opened the letter 1/2 way and began reading it. While she was reading it tears began to fall and she started shaking and her mind was racing a mile a minute trying to figure out what she had done to deserve this letter. Then she looked outside.... she saw all three of our cars in the driveway. (Greg was home earlier that day because he had taken a class instead of going to work) She then thought...."I am going to call over there just to see and hopefully they sent the letter."
Yep, it was your dear close friends who put your heart into a panic and made you cry. Don't you feel so much better now???? She was relieved to hear she truly wasn't getting kicked out of church but her voice was still shaky and she was still clearly upset. She and Greg both thought it would be funny to call her husband at work and get him too. So she calls him, reads the letter to him and he is silent on the other line.
She said " Are you there?"
He said "Yes"
She said "What do you think?"
He said " I think I am going to throw up"
She said "Well, what do you think we should do?"
He said (and this is the real kicker... the real knife in the gut) "Call Greg and Rachael... they will know what to do." Ugggg.... how rotten are we???
Then she told him it was us who sent the letter and he had time to calm down a bit before coming home to kill us for nearly killing his wife with worry. He said the whole time he was at work answering the phone and talking to clients he was thinking about how he was going to get us back. We have a wonderful healthy friendship don't we? :)
I on the other hand pretty much punked myself because I have been just SICK about all of this. It makes me nauseous that they believed that letter was real even for a second. I truly thought it was going to be a good laugh and something we would joke about for years to come. Instead it turned into a nightmare of me making our friends feel scared and sick. Something we sure won't forget anytime soon that is for sure. Now I am even MORE reserved about joking than I was a week ago.
They are dear friends and when they spoke with Charlie after services (which by the way he only wanted to tell her thank you for being such a great example for Southbrook) DUH, who gets kicked out of church for knowing the pastor's tennis instructor?????? She did bring it to my attention that weirder things have happened in a church and I must say she is correct. But not at Southbrook. :) Anyway, while speaking to Charlie they told him about the letter but spared our names during the conversation. I was at church on Sunday and I came clean to Charlie. He looked at me and said "That was YOU guys?? That is hilarious.. that is one of the best jokes I have heard in a long time. You have to write it all out so I can use it. " The only service I can think of where this story would fit at church would maybe be at Easter when Judas betrayed Jesus.
I will be expecting hate letters in the mail at anytime and I don't blame any of you if you no longer want to remain friends with us since this is how we treat our dearest and closest friends.