THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

THIS BLOG is about those things that have left their impression on me. I'd love for you to comment on what affects you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fool's Day in Review

"Lydia, I'm at the airport." Emily's voice trembled over the phone, yesterday. "I'm leaving for the Philippines and I'm never coming back. Please watch over my kids."

Once I realized my friend wasn't talking about an emergency visit, I was stunned. I echoed, "You're never coming back?"

"No, never," she said.

"What happened?"

"I can't stay here anymore." She sounded fed up. Or did she say she was? Shock prevented certain things from sinking into my consciousness.

"But, but . . . what about Joanna and Hannah?"

Silence on the other end. And then laughter. "April Fool's!"

Wow! Emily should become an actress. I was totally taken in by her prank. Ironically enough, what also aided her ploy was that I'd just finished reading Ladder of Years, the Anne Tyler novel about a woman who, feeling unneeded, spontaneously walks out on her family. (Emily had no way of knowing I'd just read the book.)

After my relief that my friend was not abandoning her family and leaving Greece, my thoughts turned to revenge. But I realized I could not get her back any time soon; she's too sharp for that. Instead, I decided to dispel my humiliation by trying to dupe other people. I think I succeeded in all cases except my husband. I did fool him eventually, making him jump out of bed to check a bogus leak in a faucet that had just been repaired. However he got me on a technicality. The time was 1:00 a.m. this morning--no longer April Fool's Day.

Let's face it, we pull pranks on people, not to make them look stupid, but to trigger an impromptu response. What we're looking for is an immediate reaction. Lots of times, a person's initial response to a situation will reveal his or her true character. Some of the reactions I got from my dupes yesterday were good-natured, others involved lashing out (name-calling), and prideful justification for their mistaken belief.

In a similar way, the Lord tests our hearts with the unforeseen trials He brings into our daily lives. As the psalm below implies, may our reactions always please Him.

Psalm 17:3: "Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress."

Since God, in His Word, also says, "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine", I'd love to hear about some of your best April Fool's Day pranks, given or received, past or present.

Oh, and Emily? Watch out. Next year, I'm coming after you!

Strong Man at the Acropolis. Photo by Alex Tsirozidis.


emily said...

that's awesome, in my heart you are one of the most caring friend i ever had, judging from your immediate reaction, and i love you more for that...we'll see if you can succeed on that for i'll mark it on my agenda, watch out for lydia on april 1, 2009.

Brenda Susan said...

Okay now let's get this are NOT calling God an April Fool, right?? Ha! That just would not be cool & if you are then don't tell Him that you know me ok? Truthfully, I think God has a way better & more complicated sense of humor that we do, don't you agree?