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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Melody (08/24/06)

TITLE: God Doesn't Wear Earplugs (but sometimes I do)
By Lynda Lee Schab


My husband’s arms were full and I didn’t know whether to help him or just stand there and laugh.

A stuffed-to-overflowing diaper bag hung over Ben’s left shoulder and two fuzzy bunny blankets were draped over his right. He held a six month old twin in each arm, one laughing hysterically and one screaming bloody murder. As he walked – or should I say, shuffled, pushing two infant car seats along with his feet - miscellaneous baby items dropped to the floor, leaving a trail of two diapers, a tiger rattle, and a yellow-stained burp cloth. In his mouth was the back end of a pacifier and through clenched teeth he was singing an unfamiliar tune.

But that was nothing new. Any melody my husband chose to belt out was unrecognizable. Despite his uncanny ability to carry a zillion things at one time, the one thing he couldn’t carry to save his life was a tune.

The ironic thing is that we’d actually met at choir rehearsal. I had recently joined the church and was anxious to get involved in the music ministry. Singing was – and is – a huge part of my life. It was my first rehearsal and I was running late. In a rush, I rounded the hallway corner and smacked right into Ben.

Startled, we both quickly apologized. Then we laughed like two long-lost friends. Besides our compatible sense of humor, I couldn’t help noticing that Ben had the nicest smile and the bluest eyes I had ever seen.

BAM! Instant attraction.

“I’m just on my way to choir rehearsal,” I said, feeling a sudden need to describe my schedule.

“Oh. I’m just leaving choir rehearsal.”

I frowned and checked my watch. “Did I miss it?”

Ben grinned. “No. It’s just starting. But I kind of got fired.”

I was confused. “I thought this was a volunteer choir.”

He cleared his throat. “Yeah, well…..”

The lightbulb above my head flickered: he couldn’t sing.

And I discovered that statement to be every bit true the following week as we sat in church together and Ben belted out a praise hymn with wild abandon and not a note in key. Noticing a couple of glances from nearby pew-sitters, I subtly sneaked a peek myself. With his eyes closed and hands raised, Ben obviously didn’t give a hoot about who might be distracted by his tone-deaf-saturated worship.

It wasn’t for anyone else’s benefit anyway; his song was strictly meant for the Lord, who I somehow knew was basking in the sound. (However, I shamefully admit to brain-filing a reminder to myself to bring earplugs next time.)

Back to the present scene, I watched my hubby struggle with his load, still singing his way around the pacifier protruding from his lips.

“Need some help?” I asked, picking up the trail of baby accessories in his wake.

“I don’t think Carrie likes my singing,” he commented out of the side of his mouth with a furrowed brow of mock unbelief. I laughed and retrieved The Screamer from Ben’s arms and the pacifier from his mouth.

“But Melody seems to enjoy it,” I remarked, raising my eyebrows. She squealed with delight and patted her daddy on the cheek, probably thrilled to now have him to herself.

Ben looked at Melody and squinched up his nose. “You love it when daddy sings to you, don’t you?” he said in his best daddy-ese voice.

At this, Melody let out a belly laugh, spraying Ben’s face with spit-bubbles.

I wiped his face with the burp cloth I’d picked up from the floor.

“What do you think she meant by that?” he asked.

“I think our little Mel has a great sense of humor.”

Ben gave me a strange look, as if contemplating what I’d meant by that.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that melodies come in all shapes and forms; Ben’s form just happens to be a bit lumpy. I’m sure it won’t be long before Carrie learns to appreciate that fact and stop crying every time her daddy sings her a bedtime “lullaby.”

For now, we have our very own small-shaped Melody to serve as Ben’s captive and adoring audience. As soon as she can stand up on her own, I’m confident that she will give her father a standing ovation. And I have no doubt that God will be standing right beside her.

You’ll find me there too – I’ll be the one with the earplugs.

This piece is totally and completely fictional

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This article has been read 1371 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 08/31/06
This was great! I really enjoyed it-catchy title.
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/01/06
This was great! Hehe.
Suzanne R09/01/06
I love a good romance - and this was VERY good!

I thought at first the noise coming from his mouth was one of total frustration or something ... took a while before it dawned on me that it was a happy noise ... which I guess is exactly what you intended, eh?

Masterfully written indeed. Excellent!
Beth Muehlhausen09/01/06
Cute! Woo hoo, this is how it is: "BAM! Instant attraction."

Good visuals. I could see all the baby stuff!!
Annie Glasel09/01/06
It was so real that I almost wished that it was non fiction! Great job! (And so this is how a master writes. Ah Masta!)
Debra Elliott09/01/06
Too cute and well written
Lynda Schultz 09/01/06
This is SOOOOOO good!
Jan Ackerson 09/01/06
Utterly adorable, what a charming voice!
Bonnie Derksen09/01/06
Ok, I REALLY loved this! Loved the dialogue, the description, the humor, the delight between the characters. This was sooo good. Oh, and I loved the title and, of course, the great last line. Very well done.
Ruth Renwick09/03/06
I was surprised to read at the bottom that this story is fictional. It seems so believable and true to life. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Helen Paynter09/03/06
Oh this rang some bells with me. The second time I met Stephen I was appalled to discover that the charming man I'd enjoyed chatting to the previous time was responsible for the terrible din coming from the back of the church this time. Like your fictional character, he doesn't care at all - he's not singing for anyone's benefit but God's. Oh, and he's going to be in the choir in Heaven.
Sorry, back to the writing - great stuff, written with a lovely light touch. Highly enjoyable.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/04/06
This is the kind of fiction I wish I could write! Delightful!
Karie Spiller09/04/06
Great story. I read it to the hubby and he liked it. He could relate all the way through it. Only I'm the one with the bad voice and he puts up with it. At least my kids don't seem to mind.
Debbie OConnor09/04/06
I loved it. A fun read all the way through.
Patrick Oden09/04/06
Definitely a fun story, and so real in subtle ways it's hard to believe this is fiction (so thanks for the last little admission).

Great characters, great imagery, great writing.

The first sentence seems extraneous, as you describe in the next paragraph all you say in the first sentence. Throwing us directly into the story would add more punch.

I'm not sure how to fix this but I was caught up a little by the "back to the present scene" phrase. It pulled me out of the story and is a bit of a rough patch. Find a way to jump through time a little smoother and this would be perfect in my opinion.
Teri Wilson09/05/06
This was a very fun read and highly entertaining. My dog howls and goes crazy every time my husband sings (only him... no one else). It could be just a jingle from a TV commercial and she wakes up and goes nuts. I figure she must think he's in terrible pain to be making such an awful sound. LOL Loved your story!
Venice Kichura09/05/06
This is one of the most enjoyable entries I've read!
Joanne Sher 09/05/06
This was SO delightful - and I'm sure your hubby appreciates the disclaimer at the end. Loved this line:

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that melodies come in all shapes and forms; Ben’s form just happens to be a bit lumpy.

An absolute JOY to read!!
Rebecca Livermore09/05/06
This was absolutely delightful! Thanks so much a funny and heartwarming story. I, too, wish it was true!
Debbie Sickler09/05/06
Hehehe. Loved the opening picture with Ben and the pacifier as well as the idea of him getting kicked out of a volunteer choir. Great humor. :)
Jan Ross09/07/06
Great story ... enjoyed it so much! Good work! :)
Marilyn Schnepp 09/07/06
This is one fantastic read! Just great! So delightfully written, and such a...forgive me, I'm speechless. The Best I've read lately. A+!!!! and then some! Kudos!
Allison Egley 09/07/06
Hehe I loved this. (I thought for sure I had already read it, but I guess not.) I really liked the line "Ben’s form just happens to be a bit lumpy."
Bonnie Derksen09/12/06
Congratulations on your win, Lynda. Well done.