An observation about context

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

Context is so important, even in the little things. People have done a lot of damage to Bible verses, stories, doctrines, etc., because they did not or do not consider the context. Someone once remarked that a Bible verse out of its context is like a diamond away from a necklace: pretty, but better when it’s back where it belongs!

So it is with little things. Take food, for example/ Well, my wife and I were discussing what to have for supper, the other night, and she mentioned she’d like to have tacos/ So did I except that we’d need some ground beef and maybe a couple of other things to make it a meal. Somehow we got disconnected and I don’t know how it happened, but she asked how many shells we had.

Being a good husband, I immediately said, “Well, let me take a look” and promptly returned with a container of shells—macaroni shells, that is. I brought the container—and the shells contained therein—to her, and said, “We have a lot of ‘em, but another type. . ..we’re running low on them.” My voice began to taper off as I saw that she was not impressed with my findings!

She then gave me a half-smile and replied, “How many taco shells do we have, honey?”


I blathered a little about how I thought she meant how many pasta shells but her look told me she wasn’t buying it. Man, do I have to work on my salesmanship or charm or something—nah, even that wouldn’t work. She knows me too well! Again, being a good hubby, I went and brought the TACO shells for her viewing. The smile she gave me was enough.

The dinner she fixed was even better!

What’s the “moral” of this story? First, I should have listened better and concentrated on the topic at hand. Tacos—not pasta, not macaroni, just taco shells. Second, maybe I should have asked which kind of shells because, as most of us know, there are plenty of varieties to choose from. Some, of course, are better than others but that’s another topic for another day. Third, if you make a mistake, don’t try to charm your way out of it. Your spouse knows you better than you think and will let you know in a hurry when you goof! At least they should.

Context: important in so many ways. Even when it comes to supper, the right context makes for an even better meal!

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