Holding Back
Off the Wall, March 26,

When Alfredo Nunzarino, Naples, Florida, performs throughout the world, entertaining everyone who visits the many palaces and places where musicians gather to share with the world the classical masterpieces, he is always applauded with standing ovations for his accomplishments with the piano.

Concert goers have a hard time holding back their outbursts of “bravo,” cheers, followed always by the words, “more, more, more.” He seems to bring that special appeal to the many halls he visits with music everyone loves.

James Bridgenose, Rookland, VA, loves to laugh and convey little stories when he hears them. A matter of fact, he wants me to listen even when the times may not be suited.

Recently, while getting out of the shower, I heard the telephone ring. Thinking it was one of my children, I dabbed off my person just enough so I wouldn’t leave too big of a water trail on my way to the kitchen. I then raced to the phone and picked up the receiver just before the answering machine activated and spoke my opening greeting. “Volkmann speaking…” I said. “Bridgenose speaking…” he stated.

Now, the only reason I say what I say is that many times people will call to enlighten me as to a particular happening that may prove worthy for an upcoming column. I want to sound as professional as possible.

At no time does he ever ask if this is a good time to call. He’ll jump right into his presentation. Don’t even suggest the idea of telling him I will call him back. It’s a “no-goer” here. He was given a free cell phone and doesn’t know his number. I know there are other ways to contact him, but since he calls nightly, I usually plan on lengthening the conversation the next coming evening.

A couple of weeks ago, the phone rang and I picked up the receiver and learned he was on the other end. In high spirits I said, “Hi James,” to which he replied, “Gee, you are in a good mood.”
I decided by not holding back, I was hoping my cheerfulness would rub off on him and prompt him to change his mood a bit.

With that he said, “I want to tell you a little story.” I had to go to a meeting at city hall and tried to tell him I couldn’t hear it that evening, but for this senior citizen, there was no holding back. “Listen, listen,” he said. So I did as he asked.

“A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her four year-old daughter to answer it. ‘Mommy can’t come to the phone to talk to you right now. She’s hitting the bottle!’”

He would then say, “Isn’t that cute?” No denial in this case. This was certainly amusing. I will say that.

I think these examples of ‘holding back,’ once thought about, can pretty much be easily understood. Consider the messages in the remaining examples.

Marc Daspott, North Huntingdon, telephoned me recently and asked if I was aware how long ago tithing came into play? We chatted about the subject and then moved on.

We alluded to the fact that it’s astonishing that people don’t realize that 90% of the money one owns belongs to God. And to top it off, scripture tells that we are to return only 10% back to Him. Yet, how many church goers hold back that small amount of earnings which are supposed to be sacrificed either to one’s church, the needy, or to the charity of one’s choice?

Look around you. There are people who are hurting. In this land where there is so much wealth, poverty exists to extent or another, everywhere. Don’t turn the other cheek and ignore those who may be having a hard time, but may be afraid to ask for help.

Holding back does not only refer to material possessions. Restraining physical actions fall under this category as well.

Homer Zipitt, Hudson, Texas, didn’t care if his speech was offensive. No one was going to tell him to hold back, he told his friends.

Finally, there is Wanda Will, Latrobe. She has been baptized by the Holy Spirit. When led to certain individuals, she will gently lay her hand on people arms when God wants her to convey His love. She never holds back.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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