I got to teach the preschool class this past Sunday. It’s not something that I do often. I’m not nearly as good at it as any of my volunteers, so I tend to stick to teaching the elementary and youth ministries. Due to illness on behalf of a children’s ministry stalwart, though, I filled in for one day. The story was about Jesus’ recruiting His disciples. He told his fishermen friends that if they would follow Him, He would make them fishers of men. So naturally, I taught the little kids the song, “Fishers of Men.” Also naturally, it reminded me of something from my childhood that made me laugh.
Thirty minutes is a long time to ride in a car for a fourth and fifth grader. My brother Dan and I did it six times every week: on the way to and from Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening services. It lends to hyperactivity and a little misbehavior. It also leads to the kind of extreme boredom and causes a little kid to eavesdrop on his parents’ conversations. One day, while we were on the way to church, my mom was relaying a prayer request to my dad. Someone from their Sunday school was suffering from anal fissures. I knew roughly what the first word meant, but I didn’t get the second part, so I butted in. I asked what a fissure was. My parents explained it to the best of their G-rated ability.
At this point, I should tell you that my brother Dan and I are a lot alike. It’s almost spooky. We think the same things, often at the same time, and we tend to be in sync on most things. We are not basketball studs, but we used to win a lot, and I think it was our connectivity that did it. I always knew where he would go before he went there, and visa versa.
So there we were, sitting in the back seat. Our mom got done explaining fissures to us. Without any sort of collaboration, we both started singing, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men…” I know what you’re thinking: that’s hilarious! I agree! Mom didn’t agree back then. My sister Lisa, the consummate big sister, also did not think it was funny and wished for justice to be carried out. Of course, my mom agreed with her. And that is how we got spanked for singing a song we had learned in junior church.