Sunday, July 25, 2010

Speak Up

A few years back a large group of us from church went out for lunch to a local eatery.

The meal was preceded in the usual way with participants choosing up seats in the bustling restaurant. When the dust from this episode of musical chairs sans-psalmody ended, I was at one end of the table, and Helmut was at the other.

Helmut is a military guy, retired Special Forces, and the two of us routinely engage in the back-slapping, playful banter that he'd grown accustomed to in his army days. Whether his diminished hearing also has its source in his tours of duty I can't say, but its effect became apparent that afternoon.

"Hey Sean," he called the length of the table in his deep Master Sergeant's voice. "Why don't you say grace so we can eat?"

So prompted, the table grew silent, we bowed our heads, and we said our prayer.

When I looked up, I noticed that Helmut's head was still bowed. A moment later he raised his head a tad and peeked across the table at me with one open eye. He addressed me the length of the table a second time.

"Hey Sean, can you speak up next time? We couldn't hear you down here."

"That's OK," I shot back. "I wasn't talking to you."

1 comment:

helmut said...

...and I couldn't hear your part of the Rosary when we were on the bus during last April's pilgrimage either... :-)