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
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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.
<b> <i>BAM!</i> </b> 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 <i>leaving</i> 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 <i>love</i> 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>I’d</i> 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.
<i>This piece is totally and completely fictional</i>
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