Mark Twain said, "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." Well, I don't know if that's true or not, but it might help. I want you to hear a presentation today, from many years ago, delivered by author and marriage counselor Marjorie Caldwell. I shared this transcription on Focus on the Family many years ago, and it was very well received by our audience. In fact, I think the two parts of this presentation became among the most popular programs of the year. Marjorie had a wonderful sense of humor; you're going to find that out. But she went on to heaven at the age of 92. She actually died in 2006, so this is going back a few years. This is the first time we have aired this funny and very wise two part presentation here on Family Talk, so we hope you enjoy it. Here now is the voice of the late Marjorie Caldwell.
Marjorie Caldwell: I'll tell you; I've had the worst time you all. I got sick last week and then you all, Chuck... Now, Chuck is my husband. He's still around. He really is and I am too. And I will tell you all something, Chuck and I've been married 45 years and I know what you're thinking, "my soul she's old enough to die." Now, I want you to know that we're still in love. Can you believe that? And when he took me there for today at noon, we just always said, "Honey, I'll be praying for you." And I was so excited and he's so cute. When we first got married, he had a whole lot of hair and no stomach and now it's been rearranged and y'all...
Well anyway, I waved goodbye and I thought everything was going to be great and we got on the plane and we just sat there and I had to change planes in Phoenix. And I went up to the flight attendant and I said, "If we wait here too long, we're not going to make the plane that's leaving Phoenix, are we?" She said, "No, we're not." And so, we kept sitting there and finally we took off and I thought, "Lord, you're so good. Now make them fly fast." We got almost to Phoenix about 30 minutes late and as we taxied up the airport, the flight attendant said, "Look out there, there goes the plane to Ontario."
This lady next to me said, "I don't feel well." And I said, "Well, I don't feel well either, but if you're going to throw up, get that sack, because I don't want you throwing up on me." And so, we got in there for it and I went up to this flight man and I said, "Has our flight left?" And he said, "Yes." And I said, "What shall I do now?" And he said, "I don't know." And I said, "Well, I have to get Ontario." And he said, "Well, the next flight is at 5:30." I thought, 5:30? Oh well, I nearly had a spasm, but I didn't. I held it. And so then y'all, we finally got there, to Ontario and I had had 14 Cokes and six sacks of peanuts. I said, "Y'all, I just have to go the restroom." And on the door was a big sign says, "Out of order." My soul, the whole… I wanted to say "just one. I don't need but one." The whole room was out of order. And I came back and I thought, I can't stand this.
But I thought, well, I'll get my luggage. And my luggage didn't come. That's not funny. Oh, y'all, you're going to have to look at this all week long. And I thought, my luggage didn't come, Lord, where is my luggage? I know some of you've heard this, but I think I'll tell it again. I know God wants us to laugh and have a good time and enjoy ourselves and just howl and holler. He's the one that thought up a sense of humor in the first place. And some people get up and they say, "Oh, good morning, Lord." And others get up and say, "Good Lord, it's morning." And so, it's the way we look at it that makes a difference. If you have to, I will sleep in a blanket tonight and fit on my lovely dress again.
I've been in it since 10:00 o'clock this morning and I hope that you don't get too close. But I always want to hug everybody so just hold your nose and we'll hug. But anyway, I'm so thrilled to be… y'all it is going to be so much fun and this is going to be the kind of weekend I hope and I pray that it will be. God's going to change our lives. He's going to do something exciting here and I want to tell you about an airplane trip I had that some of you've heard, but if you'll just go to sleep, I'll wake you up when it's over.
But it was so funny. I got on a plane out in Abilene, West Texas and I was going to fly into Dallas and I got on this plane and I sat down by this lady and she's going, "Huh-huh, huh-huh." And I thought, my soul I had to sit down by somebody having a heart attack. Now, I turned around and I said, "Could I help you?" And she said, "Get off this plane." The only time I get sick is when I see somebody else get sick. And so that really makes me sick. I thought, well, she punched me and she said, "I'm going to be sick." Well I didn't know you made an announcement about it and I thought you just got that little sack. And I said, "Oh, you're not going to be sick. I'm going to think about- I'm going to think of something for us to talk about and then you won't be sick."
And while I was thinking of something for us to talk about, she got sick and I couldn't even help her. I just couldn't. I just had to look the other way. And I looked across the aisle down and then other people were getting sick and I thought, Oh Lord. And so sure enough, I looked across the aisle down four or five rows and this guy wasn't sick. I could tell by the back of his head, he wasn't sick. And so, I just kept my eyes glued on him. And I thought, I'm going to watch that boy. And so, it got rougher and rougher and this little stewardess came in, sat down, the only vacant seat across the aisle from me, because she was just couldn't walk. It was just going like this. We were flying along and this same lady leaned over to me and she said, "I'm going to faint." I said, "Don't faint. I don't know what to do."
And I looked at the stewardess and I said, "She's going to faint and I don't know what to do." And she said, "We've got to change places. I'll take care of her." And she said, "Now this can be dangerous now." I'll bet it can. And she said, "Now you stand up and grab that overhang." And that's where we put everything that was falling off. And she said, "Then I'll slip in behind you." It was a small plane. She said, "Now, when it levels off, you step out in the aisle and don't let go here until it levels off and then you let go and grab over there." I thought, all right, that's what I'll do. I stood up and I grabbed that overhang. She slipped in behind me and I looked around and you know these big old wooden purses your mothers used to carry? Well, mine was on my arm and I thought, she's not going to faint, when this thing hits her, she'll die. It was just going, "Doi-oi-oi-ng." And I thought, poor lady, she's not here for long. And I couldn't let go though.
And so, the plane leveled off and I got out in the aisle and I waited while it was level and I let go and I started to grab and it went, "Doi-ng." And I went running down the aisle. Now they just had a curtain between the pilot and the people and I thought, he's sure going to feel funny when I join him. And then I thought, now I'm going to feel funnier if I just pass on through. And oh, I was so scared and I was screaming, "Help me, help me." And just I was running down the aisle and all of a sudden the plane went "donk" like that and I flipped over in somebody's lap. I threw my purse, it hit the ceiling, it broke open. All my brains were flying out, all over. I just nearly died. And my lipsticks, everything was everywhere.
And you know what? I was upside down, but I want to tell you in somebody's lap, but I tell my girls in charm classes, now at all times under all conditions, a lady keeps her knees together. And I want you to know, I was upside down in that man's lap but my knees were together. And so, and I was just screaming, "Hold me, hold me." And two big old, hairy arms came around. This deep, sexy voice said, "I've got you lady." I didn't care if it was an ape if it held on. Oh my soul, I was so scared. Well, finally he set me up in his lap, right side up and I looked around at the top of his head and I said, "How do you do? I'm Marge Caldwell." And they helped me back and I sat down that seat over there.
When I got off that plane, Chuck met me and I said, "Oh honey." He said, "What was wrong?" And I said, "The lady by me was so sick and I was so scared I was going to get sick." And I was telling him, I said, "That man, right over there, he wasn't sick at all and honey, I fell in his lap." And Chuck said, "Well, when you're sitting there minding your own business with your mind a mile off and all of that falls in your lap..." Some days I could just eat him up and the next day, I wish I had. I tell you, but it's so much fun to be here.
And I want to share a little bit of my life with you and I'll just share a little bit because I sure won't share very much, we'd be here too late. But anyway, I'm going to just visit with you just like you and I were in my den, sitting there talking. I wanted to share a little bit about what God's done. And maybe there's somebody here that has this same thing. Some of these things happened to them and maybe God is working with you. And maybe he's going to do something so special. And if you came up this mountain feeling sad, maybe some of you mamas are kind of sad. Maybe some of you, you're so uptight you don't know which way to turn. And some of you've had something very sorrowful happen in your life just lately. And maybe some of the daddies have gone and the mothers are so sick at heart. And maybe some of the kids are way out in the far country somewhere and you're so sad and you just cried out to God.
And then some of you are sitting here whose kids are just so great and they're sitting here with you and you love each other and that's wonderful. But no matter what your state is right now, I know Jesus Christ has a very special something for you. I was born in Houston a 100 years ago and if you don't laugh. But anyway, I had brother seven years younger. For a long time, I didn't have a brother. I was seven years old before that monster was born. But anyway, he came and mother and daddy and my mother was the most beautiful Christian. She just was wonderful. She loved Jesus and she didn't care who knew it, but she wasn't weird with it. Some people are weird.
Jesus doesn't make weirdos. We make weirdos of ourselves and blame it on Him. Don't we? That's the truth. He's not the be… He wants you to be well adjusted and happy. He wants you to laugh. He wants you to have a good time. He's not up there saying, "Watch it, you're going to have fun. Don't you enjoy yourself." A lot of people think God's up there thinking, I don't want them to have fun. And when we give our life to Him, I want to tell you, some of us think He's saying, "I've got you now. I'm going to make you so miserable."
When Chuck, our son, was about seven, six or seven, we just had to spank him for something. I never remember what for, because we spanked him for so many things. He was into everything. But anyway, he came in, he's always real good after a spanking. And he came in, sat in my lap and he said, "Mom, I love you. And I'm going to be so good. And I'm going to do everything you want me to do. I'm going to do it." And I was so excited and I put my arms around and I said, "Chuckie, I love you too, darling. I'm so thrilled and I want to do things you like to; I want to do good things for you." And he said, "I'm going to be so good. I'm going to let you tell me what to do and I'm going to do it." And just grin. And so, I jumped up and just jumped up and whipped him out on the floor and I kicked him with my feet and I said, "There, now I'm going to kick you again too. How dare you tell me you're going to be so good?"
Now that's what we think that God does when people look up and say, "Lord, I love you. And I want to live for you and I want to be good and I want to be just what you want me to be." And they think God's saying, "Now I've got you and I'm going to make you so miserable. I want to keep you from doing everything you want to do and I'm going to make you wish you had never known me." A lot of people think that finding God's will is like that. Oh, you all, it's wonderful. When we say, "Lord, I want you to take my life." He says, "Okay, now I'm going to make you have the most wonderful time. You're going to enjoy living. You're going to have a good time. Sure, you're going to have trouble, but I'll be with you. You don't have to go through it alone."
Well, when I was born in Houston, my dad was an alcoholic. And I don't know if you know what that means, a lot of you, but that means violence and heartache and fright and drunkenness. You see the reason I get so sick when I see someone else gets sick is from the time I was about six or seven till I left home as a college girl, my mother couldn't clean up after my dad because it made her so terribly sick. And so I had to do it and I couldn't have my dates from my house because my dad would curse them when we'd come home at night and I'd had to have them from a friend's house and my little brother and I, when we were young, would just hover in our bedroom and put pillows over our heads so we couldn't hear what was going on. I'm not telling you that so you'll think, "Poor Marge." I'm telling you because I want to tell you where I was and how it was and what God did.
And so, mother would come in every morning and you young girls who have little babies, remember this. I'm just an optimistic person. I just know everything's going to be all right. I just knew my luggage was coming, but I don't know what happened. But I just knew everything was… Mother did it. See, I can't take any credit for that because every morning mother came in with a little glass of juice and she'd say, "Wake up darling. What is God going to do for us today? Oh, what can we do for Him?" And I just woke up just excited to be alive. And now at my age, I'm really excited when I wake up. That's wonderful.
But anyway, Chuck says I have a hangover from it. I wake up in a new world every day. Takes me a while to wake up. My body gets up at 7:00, my mind joins it at 9:00 and in the meantime, I'm in limbo. Are you kind of like that? Chuck is a morning person. When we got married - there are a lot of things you have to get used to when you get married and it's not written up in, Everything You Want to Know About Sex and are Afraid to Ask, it's not even in there. And it's how you wake in the morning. Chuck woke up, "Hello, Marge. Good morning, honey," And slapped me on the back and I just fell over. And he said, picked me up and he said, "Isn't it a nice day?" I said, "Don't do that. Don't jar me so early in the morning. Please be careful with me early. Wait till 9:00 and I'll be your equal but right now don't bother me."
He'd sing in the shower, it's the most sickening sound in the world. I thought, I can't stand it. I'm going to have to go home to my mother. I can't stand it. And he was happy. He'd come in smiling and I'd think why don't you drop dead? I tell you. But anyway, when I was a kid at home, I used to… I accepted Jesus when I was 14 and He came to live in my heart. I asked Him to come in and He did because that's what He said He'd do if I asked Him to, and I did. And I knew He wasn't a commuter. I knew He didn't run off and come back and run off and come back. He just stays there. I didn't understand all about the Trinity. I didn't see how Jesus could be up there on that side of God and still in here. And I still don't. But I'm not going to let that keep me from enjoying Him up there, here, anywhere He is, all around. The Holy Spirit's in here. Only way I can understand that is God is Holy Spirit, God the father, God the son, God the Holy spirit. That's what the Bible says. No way I can understand it. I know the professors in colleges would just turn pale if they knew how well I could explain it.
But I'm just a mother and a daughter and a sister and I'm three people, but I'm a wife to Chuck and that's wonderful. And I have a certain relationship with him that's exciting. And then I have a relationship with my kids. It has a lot to do with that but it's not just exactly. Yes, it has quite bit too. Well anyway. And then I'm a daughter and that has another relationship. That's another relationship. That's three people I am, but I'm one. And in a very elementary kind of way, that makes it kind of plain to me. It may confuse you all over. But anyway, I knew I accepted Jesus and I used to pray, "God," I'd go out in the backyard, it rains all the time in Houston. And I'd go out in the backyard and look up and say, "God, please save my daddy. Please make him quit drinking. God, my mother, I don't know what's going to happen to my mother." And I'd be so scared because we were so frightened.
And when I graduated from high school, I was salutatorian. I don't know whether you have those out here or not, but anyway you make a speech and I was making a speech and my daddy was drunk in the balcony, screaming out, "That's my girl. That's my girl down there." And I thought, oh. You know how it is when you get so embarrassed. And I used to pray, "God do something." Now, if anybody had ever told me, "Now, Marge, this will be one of the most important times of your life to be reared in a home with an alcoholic." I thought, why if they told me that, I thought you got to be crazy. What's so wonderful about that? But you see folks, I work with young people. I live where you young people live all the time. I work with cop outs and dropouts, drug addicts. And I work in the charm school with all the up and outers and I teach college freshmen. Ooh, I love them. I could eat them up. On Sunday morning, they're so special.
I love teenagers, when they're little bitty I kind of want somebody to take them and pat them on the head and love them. But when they get to be 13 and 14 and 15 and clear on up through college age, I could just eat them with a spoon. I just love them. And those that are down and out and having trouble in their hearts and their minds and their bodies are all messed up. I love them. And I tell you, I could just, I just want to put my arms around the whole crowd and say, "Oh man, I love you." And I want to here too because you see, I do love you. And you say, "Well, how in the world could you love me? You don't know me from Adam." Well, yes I do because you're a girl. But anyway, you don't know me, Margie so how could you love me? And I just love you because God loves you and because you're young.
As I talk to young people now and they'll say, "Oh Ms. Caldwell, you don't understand, my dad's an alcoholic. My mother drinks all the time, they're just drunk all the time. I never have any peace at home at all." I can say, "I understand." Oh Ms. Caldwell, you wouldn't understand. Yes, I do. I understand because I was there and I know how it is and I know how your heart hurts. And I know that God can do something about it because He did. And prayer will make a difference because I kept praying. Don't you ever stop praying for your dad or your mom or whoever it is you're praying for that's an alcoholic. Don't you stop praying. Oh God can work a miracle that is out of this world.
Roger Marsh: And that concludes the first part of this thought provoking presentation from the late Marjorie Caldwell here on Family Talk. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for the conclusion of her story. In the meantime, we understand that this might've been a rather tender broadcast for you to listen to and brought up some rather tender memories. Well, we know that if you have been touched by Marjorie's testimony, you may be looking for some prayer. And so, if that's the case, please give us a call. Our number is (877) 732-6825. When you call, one of our helpful team members will be happy to take that prayer request and to pray with you over the phone. Take down our number. It's (877) 732-6825. That's (877) 732-6825. Be sure to join us again next time for the conclusion of Marjorie Caldwell's powerful testimony on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. You will not want to miss it.
Before we leave for the day, Dr. Dobson has an important message to leave with you: some sad news that happened this week. Here now is Dr. James Dobson.
Dr. Dobson: Before we go today, I want to acknowledge the passing of my very, very good friend, Bishop Harry Jackson. The godly leader who served on President Trump's faith advisory committee. I will really miss this good man. Shirley and I extend our love and condolences to his family and his church.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.