The Knee’d for Restraint and Restraints

If you remember, I told you how easily Mary Ellen could disrupt a church service—and promised another example. The time for that story is now.

Mary Ellen was slightly older in this story. Don’t get me wrong. She wasn’t loud in church. She didn’t cry or fuss much that I remember—no beating on the pew with her toys or anything like that. Mary Ellen was a stealth disrupter.

At the small church where my Dad was pastor, the order of service usually went like this: opening prayer, congregational singing, prayer requests and congregational prayer, special singing, then the sermon. There was a young man named Eugene who would often play his guitar and sing during the special singing time. Eugene was a good guy, and bless his heart, he persevered through circumstances that would have put off someone less determined. Once when he was singing and playing the guitar, the microphone started to sink. The mechanism that kept the microphone at a chosen height became loose for some reason, and the microphone started a slow-motion descent.

Eugene didn’t let that incident stop him however. And later, at another church service when he was singing, we noticed he looked a little flushed. He kept singing though, getting redder in the face as the song progressed. When the song was finished, Eugene. . .and Mary Ellen came out from behind the lectern and down off the podium.

I don’t know how Mary Ellen got up there without anyone seeing her—stealthy, like I said. But the reason Eugene had such a problem finishing the song is because Mary Ellen was standing behind him, with her head stuck between his knees and one little arm around each of his shins!

This was about the time Mom started harnessing Mary Ellen to the pew. Just kidding! It would have been a waste of time with our little Houdini anyway.

Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers

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