August 21, 2010

Elder Disruptions in Church

Thwack! The old lady's cane came down hard on the top of the pew 2 rows ahead of her. She was aiming for an older gentleman's head, believe it or not! I didn't see it, but I was told her first shot had hit home. Evangelist Tim was well into his sermon and was struggling to stay on track while Mr. Wayne, the older gentleman, repeatedly turned to converse with the boy next to him on the front row. Apparently Mr. Wayne was distracting more than just the speaker, and this lady took it upon herself to reprimand him! Thwack!

I had found Mr. Wayne a delight to converse with before the service started. So many interesting stories you can hear from a 94-year-old; driving a model T when he was 9 years old, outliving three wives. I guess he just had more to say.

As I leaned discreetly to view the goings on, my mouth dropped open. Pastor Fred was sliding into the pew next to Mr. Wayne with his finger on his lips "shushing" the older saint. It just never occurred to me that this would be necessary for someone other than a child, but here it was in a church that boasts a sizable majority of elderly worshipers (I didn't realize till then just how young my home church is).

The speaker continued without missing a beat while Pastor Fred continued to encourage Mr. Wayne, but I had to turn my face to the wall so no one could see my amusement. My grandmother, a pastor's wife, called this "getting tickled." I was tickled, all right!

I learned later that Mr. Wayne lives in an Alzheimer's unit and has no one to talk to reasonably except when Pastor Fred brings him to church. He calls his home "the crazy place." You can be sure I thanked God for his old friends, but I did suggest to Pastor Fred that he may need to have the elders check their canes at the door before services.