The Story Behind the Story

This is by Bo Sanchez, from his book "Fill Your Life With Miracles," gratefully received by email from my friend Marsha (thanks again, Bru!)


One day, I was giving a retreat to a bunch of bigwig executives. As a whole, the group was very happy to be there. Except for one guy -- one of the vice presidents -- at the back of the room.

If horses suffered from menopause, that was what he looked like: He snorted around, kicked his hoofs about, creating dust clouds everywhere. While all were listening to my talk, he'd stand up and walk around, disturbing everyone, chatting with people and munching chips!

Obviously, he didn't like being there. I guessed he was forced by the company's president to attend the retreat.

This menopausal horse was getting to my nerves, so I approached him after my talk. The evil laboratory in my brain provided me with a few opening lines to use:

"Let me see...You became VP by marrying the owner's daughter, right?"

"You're a VP? Does that stand for Vile Personality?"

"So, what Al Quaeda cell do you work for?"

"Are you by any chance demon-possessed?"

Of course, my favorite was...

"Hi, are you having hot flushes?"

Thankfully, I didn't choose any of the above. Instead, I took him aside and sincerely asked, "Hi, brother. How are you?"

After some awkward moments, his story came pouring out. "Last month, my wife was diagnosed to have cancer," his voice trembled, "and the doctors don't know how long she will last. I hate being here because I want to be with her every waking time I have." He wept like a baby.

Suddenly, I felt tinier than a virus. Can anyone step on me and squash me, pleeeease? I deserved it.

I said, "Brother, can I pray for your wife right now?"

He nodded. I laid my hand over him and prayed for her healing.

You won't believe what happened next. For the rest of the retreat, the man was as attentive as a contemplative nun.

I learned two lessons that day. One, I'll never call anyone (even in my mind) a menopausal horse again.

Two, I need to know the story behind the story. Without it, making judgments is insanity.


DEAR LORD, we pray that we shall never judge a brother's actions until we know his motives. It is better to err on the side of charity than to misjudge anyone. Remind us that the faults we see in others' lives are sometimes true of us. May our expectation of others be tempered by an awareness of our own weakness. Lord, help us to lovingly build up one another and show kindness for your honor and glory.

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Why AnneThology?

Anthology means a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts. My name is Anne, and this blog contains a collection of my thoughts, musings and writings (poems, short stories), some songs I like, plus a sprinkling of excerpts I find worth sharing --hence, AnneThology.

Did you know?

Anthology derives from the Greek word ἀνθολογία (anthologia; literally “flower-gathering”) for garland — or bouquet of flowers — which was the title of the earliest surviving anthology, assembled by Meleager of Gadara.

Look, what I have -- these are all for you.