Friday, May 22, 2009

Lessons from Church

I always ask myself, and my kids, after mass, "what did you learn in church today?". Last Sunday, that question took on a whole new meaning...and Jake's answer was unlike any I'd ever heard before.

We walked in just minutes before mass started, and ended up sitting pretty close to the front of the church, towards the outside aisle. It's a perfectly fine place to sit, it's just not where we normally sit (we are creatures of habit...we always sit by Brad's co-worker Dean and his wife). At the beginning of mass, the congregation stands for several minutes. We did that..and when Father gave us the ok to sit down, we did. Except for Jake. I whispered at him to sit down...his reply: "I can't". That's when I realized his knee was stuck.

There's a little gap between the back of the pew and the arm rest. While we were standing, Jake nonchalantly stuck his knee in that gap. When it came time to sit down, his knee was stuck. Lexi and I giggled, and even Brad smiled at his predicament. But very soon after that smile, Brad realized Jake really was stuck, and was starting to panic. I could not move his knee, so I traded places with Brad..he couldn't move Jake's knee either. Jake was still standing, but fighting back tears.

I was certain we were attracting all kinds of attention, and I was right. A lady sitting behind and us whispered loudly "do you have any lotion?". I did not... I hadn't brought my purse. She, Lizzy and I then went on a scavenger hunt in the church, looking for lotion, or something to help pry Jake's knee free. We found a jug of vegetable oil. I poured some into a cup, grabbed some paper towels, and headed back to my son.

I kneeled in the aisle, and dabbed vegetable oil on Jake's knee while Brad tried to pull it loose. Finally, Jake was free. And at that very moment, the congregation broke out in a chorus of "Alleluia". Fighting back laughter, Jake, Lizzy and I headed to the kitchen to clean up the oil on his leg. When we got to the kitchen, Jake said he felt like he was in a movie....the "alleluia" made even him smile.

For the record, mass did not stop during all of this, although I did see Father Gene and Deacon Terry glancing over at us several times. I'm sure they were wondering what in the world the Kerzmans are up to this time. And I'm sure everyone around us had quite the story to tell at lunch that day. Turns out Brad's co-worker Dean had gone to mass on Saturday night...after hearing of Jake's ordeal he vowed to always attend the same service as the Kerzmans.

After mass, I asked Jake what he learned in church that day. His response "don't sit on the end". Enough said.

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