Sunday, October 21, 2001

Tales from the Front Pew, Chapter 3: High Fives

Our church met in the Family Life Center (that's CRC slang for gymnasium) for the evening service. As usual, the Friends were seated near the front. Because we like the kids to be involved in the family giving, we often hand them the bills and have them place them in the collection plate as it goes by. A small gesture, but it does teach the importance of regular giving. David took the bills and inspected them and then held them high in the air at arm's length and studied them some more against the overhead lights.

"David, what are you doing?!!" hissed Deb, yanking his arms back down into his lap. She had to say this rather loudly because he doesn't hear a whisper too well, especially in the presence of background noise.

"I was checking if these bills were counterfeit," David shot back. The tittering and snickers behind us told us that many other people were witness to this scene and probably knew exactly what we put in the collection plate that night. Even the minister was laughing. He was seated right in front of us while the offering was being taken. Deb told him emphatically that we do not put conterfeit money in the collection plate.

Meanwhile, Joshua had smuggled half of an ink-pen into church in his pocket. He was playing with it and demonstrated his new creation to his mother during the service. He had taken the ink line out and inserted it backwards into the barrel of the pen. By blowing on or sucking on the barrel, he could make the ink line extend out of the pen and retract back into the pen. Deb told him to put it away. "But, Mom," he told her. "It's hydraulics!" How could he put something so important away? Deb told him that church was probably not the appropriate place for science experiments.

When we got home, I gently set Josh straight on his terminology. He was actually demonstrating pneumatics in the front of church, not hydraulics. Pneumatics is the use of air pressure to perform a task. Hydraulics uses a liquid (such as oil). "Cool!" said Josh. Maybe for the next offertory, we can demonstrate true hydraulics, now that his terminology is straight.