Early in his career, a pastor served in a small church in a rural community. Wilbur and his wife, Leah, attended every Sunday morning. Wilbur was a farmer, and whenever he came into his house from the field and sat down, he would fall asleep.
It was such a habit that when he came into church and sat down in the pew, he would also soon fall asleep. The pastor soon discovered that some members of the church were even taking bets on how long he could keep Wilbur awake on Sunday mornings.
Needless to say, Wilbur's wife was embarrassed by his behavior, especially when he began to snore. She tried everything she knew of to keep her sleepy spouse awake. She complained to him that she was getting calluses on her elbow from poking him in the ribs in a futile effort to keep him alert.
So in desperation, she approached the pastor for advice. In turn, he advised her to pick up some Limburger cheese on her next trip to the grocery store.
He then suggested that, keeping it in a tightly sealed package, she should bring it to church with her the next Sunday, in order that, once her husband began to snore, she could open the package of cheese and run it back and forth under his nose. “That should do the trick and keep Wilbur awake!” said the pastor confidently.
As anticipated, the following Sunday morning, shortly after the pastor had started his sermon, Wilbur began to nod off. Then, just like clockwork, at the end of the first point of his customary three-point sermon, the whole congregation could see that the Pastor was losing Wilbur.
As he started the second point, Wilbur began to snore. Quietly, Leah opened her purse, took out the Limburger cheese, and passed it back and forth under her husband's nose. To the delight of both Leah and the pastor, it worked.
Wilbur sat straight up and, in a voice that could be heard all over the church, belted out, "Leah, if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times, keep your stinkin’ feet off of my pillow!”
Now admit it… You probably smiled at the end of that one, at least a little bit! I know I still do every time I remember Tim telling this story after all these years. And with good reason, for as Solomon told us (in Proverbs 17:22), “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine!” He was right. I believe my feet feel better already!
SOURCE: While I do not know the origin of Dr. Dowdy’s version; this story exists in various forms in both print and online sources. See, for instance, http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/2001/01/did-jesus-laugh.aspx.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/proverbs/17-22.htm.