Monday, February 5, 2001

Tales from the Front Pew, Chapter 1

It started right away during the morning church service. During the piano prelude, David pulled out one hearing aid and announced that the battery was dead. Fortunately, Deb had a package of spares, so I replaced the battery and held it up to my ear to make sure it was working. It wasn't. I monkeyed with it through the prelude and most of the first three songs. Nothing. Dead as a doornail. I put it in my pocket. Looks like another trip across Grand Rapids to get it fixed. It may actually be still under warranty, if our audiologist actually filled out the paperwork.

The rest of the service went well until the very end. David has a much shorter attention span when he has only one hearing aid in so his attention was wandering more than usual. His children's bulletin was almost completely colored black from all the doodling he was doing and he spent some time fiddling with his clothing. Toward the end he was becoming restless and eventually started banging his head against the back of the seat. Softly at first, and then harder and harder. Joshua, sitting on the other side of Deb from David, tends to have a low threshold for this type of thing. Out of the blue, he reached out across Deb's lap and socked David in the shoulder. Deb was quite surprised to have a fist come flying across her sermon notes but regained her composure quickly enough to prevent a return strike. She had the advantage of already being between them.

David wore one hearing aid to the evening service. It was partway through the service that he pulled this one out and complained that it was itching. The other one was at home so we couldn't simply match the working hearing aid with the non-itching earmold. He now had no hearing aids and at least 30 minutes of the service to go.

You can imagine David's plight by trying to watch a news program on TV with the sound turned off. You really don't get much out of it. So, very soon after the demise of the second hearing aid, David began to tell Deb something. He now couldn't monitor his own speech, so she didn't have a clue what he was trying to say. So she turned over her sermon notes, gave him her pen, and indicated that he should write it down. He did. In his own second-grade scrawl, he wrote:

I am bord.

Deb wrote back:

Read the Bible for a while. And she opened the Bible to the book of Joshua. This lasted about three minutes. He took the pen again:

I don't know what to read.

Deb said:

Listen to God and pray for a while. Another minute and a half.

David wrote back:

There are too many choices to pray about. He had grabbed a whole bunch of Home Missions bookmarks on the way in and was looking over these. 28 prayer requests, one for each day of the month.

He also was clueless about what was happening during the service. He didn't hear the announcement for the offering or the offertory, so the plate passing by caught him totally unaware, so he didn't get his money out in time. He had to hand it to a deacon after the service. At one point in the service, the minister did something unusual and stood halfway down the aisle while reading the scripture. David must have thought Pastor Paul disappeared because he was looking all over for him. He finally spotted him through the other standing people, only because we turned him to face the right direction.

At this point, I think he resigned himself to be clueless and just sat there the rest of the service. We left fairly soon after the service, eager to get our son on-line again.

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