Watching Dad

By:  Staci Stallings

Sometimes God so overwhelms me with lessons and love and insights that I’m just blown away.  Sunday was just such a day.

If I tried to tell the whole story, it would stretch into a million words that wouldn’t capture it all.  So I’m just going to tell you about one tiny moment.

For several reasons we decided to go to church at noon on Sunday.  The noon service is the one that is attended by several deaf people.  To encourage the deaf to attend, our church has several different interpreters that come for the noon service.  They stand down on the floor in front of the raised platform where the readings are proclaimed.  All those who are deaf or who have deaf family members sit down in front to “see” the words.

My oldest daughter became fascinated with sign language a few years back, and this summer, we found one of the people in the deaf community to actually teach her ASL (American Sign Language).  Although I’ve also been fascinated with ASL, I think my daughter’s interest in it has heightened my awareness of it.  So I often watch the interpreters now.  Their skill is amazing.

Usually there are two of them, and they trade off duties.  One will sign the standard parts, one signs the readings, one signs the homily, one signs the songs.  I’m assuming this is to give each of them a little break for their hands and their brains.  How they process things that quickly, I’ll never know.

And so it was that at Communion time, as we approached the front, I happened to glance over at the young woman who was signing the song.  She was a new interpreter–one that I’d never seen before anyway, so I assume she’s new.  For one single second, I caught sight of her eyes.  Rather than being on the words and music in front of her, they were down just a bit farther–on the person in the bench in front of her.

My gaze traveled down, wondering who it was she was looking at.  That’s when I saw him.  The other interpreter.  The man who is always there and leads the interpreting.  He was sitting in the bench, looking at her and signing.

Instantly my mind said, “Well, she’s not doing it at all.  She’s just mimicking what she sees him doing…”

Talk about getting hit like a ton of bricks!

Here I was totally believing that she had this all under control on her own power.  However, in that second I realized she was doing her best, but she was really relying on his best.  His.  The seasoned veteran.  The leader.

Now honestly I don’t know if that man is her father or not, but I thought, “Well, she’s just like me, watching Dad and doing what He does!”

That’s about the time I started crying.

You see, so much about my life right now looks impressive.  The ten books going out on Kindle in a month.  New covers for books left and right.  Signing up with Twitter and Facebook.  Learning how to actually use those two mediums.  Creating a new blog.  All the while finishing up Vision Therapy for my son, reading with him and actually seeing him blossom into a reader.  Getting the kids ready for school.  Listening to my middle daughter play the drums and bells, and marveling that she’s come so far this summer.  Watching my oldest learn ASL.

That’s when I realize I’m doing the same thing the interpreter was doing… I’m watching Dad and following His lead!

I have to tell you, it’s an awesome way to live!

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