Vicky Hertock is a student of the Bible. She knows all the books in order forward, as well as backward. She can even say them forward quickly, yet clearly, in 17.4 seconds.
With her physical leather-bound Bible, she can find any given verse in less than 2 seconds very naturally with little effort. That’s where the first part of the problem lies. The second part lies in her seemingly inability to restrain her lips in one particular situation.
Here is the typical scenario: A pastor, from the pulpit, will say something like: “We know from John 1:1 that the Lord Jesus was with God the Father at creation. .. but you don’t have to turn there.” That is the point where Vicky uncontrollably blurts out, “OOOp-See” because, for her, it is too late. She has already turned to the passage.
The problem occurs commonly with Romans 8, an often cited passage that is worked into most sermons. “We know from Romans 8 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but you don’t have to turn there.” “OOOp-See!” says Vicky, just loud enough for the congregation to hear.
“I really don’t think it’s a matter of her showing out or bragging in any way,” said Earl Hertock, Vicky’s husband. “It’s just her natural reaction when she does something that she wasn’t supposed to do. It’s her word… ‘OOOp-See’ that is. She says it all the time automatically at the house if she drops a sock while doing laundry or splashes some gravy while fixing her mash potatoes.”
Most of Vicky’s Sunday School teachers and pastors through the years have learned to simply not say, “You don’t have to turn there” when Vicky is in the audience. “I was trained very early on by Vicky’s unintentional conditioning techniques,” said long time friend and regular Bible Study partner, Florence Germain.
But during a recent women’s conference, Vicky’s presence was well known in the crowd. Every single speaker during that day used the phrase at least once. One speaker used it 4 times and each time was awarded with an “OOOp-See!” This particular lady, near the end, said “In Matthew 28, we know that the Lord Jesus asked us to make disciples as we are going, but you don’t have to…. um… you don’t… um… have to… um… be a rocket scientist to make disciples,” as the small crowd around Vicky held their breath and then finally exhaled.
It even happened at a Beth Moore live seminar. Moore was speaking, “…You can eat a whole meal off my floor! Amen? Now Martha is the kind that was never far from her Lysol or her Oust. She was just that kind. And you may say, how do I know that? Because—I’m going to show you how I know that because she is the most wonderful thing to study. I want you to hear this part in John chapter 11. You don’t have to turn there…”
“OOOp-See!” says Vicky, receiving a pause and briefly turned head from Moore.
Note: TBNN intern Sandy Kay researched the term “you don’t have to turn there” using the Google search engine. When searching for “you don’t have to turn there” (including the quotes), Google only generated results referring to discussions of Bible passages or the Manitoba Public Utilities Board.