Today I Laughed in Church

The Other 6
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My Parkinson’s disease puts me in some unpredictable predicaments, such as a new rigid prescription drug schedule that necessitates a rigid food-intake schedule to alleviate the nasty nausea.

People in our church have become accustomed to hearing my watch beeping in the middle of the morning service, telling me to take my pill box and water bottle out of my purse and sneakily swallow my meds.

Our second worship time is a little trickier because my schedule has me taking pills at the start of the service and nibbling some food halfway through. So it seemed simpler to stay home.

Finally, encouraged by our pastor, who said God understood and so would the people, I attended the 5 p.m. service. Looking over the order of worship I figured out that the song following the long prayer provided the best timing for food. So staying seated at the end of the prayer, with the rest of the worshipers standing to sing, I quietly got out my crackers. The organist, in a slow, stately manner, played the prelude for no. 282 in the gray Psalter Hymnal. I quickly swallowed a bite of saltine, not daring to peek at my husband, snickering beside me, while all around us were flowing these words:

“Break now the bread of life, dear Lord, to me.” My discomfort disappeared. My spirits rose. My soul sang.

I delighted in the Lord’s ways. Today I laughed in church!

About the Author

Patricia Haveman is a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church at Hull, Iowa .

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