I'll be honest. We don't partake of the Bible Study sessions that take place at the Manor. We're friendly with Pastor Langley, and he's never appeared to proselytize in our direction. One day we sat together at the same table at dinnertime and somehow word leaked out that Mr. Bob had a puppet. A bear puppet. Named "Bob". Next thing we knew "Bob" had been invited to be a guest at the next Bible Study in the Health Center.
I'd long tried to persuade Mr. Bob to walk through that section of the manner, cheering the bedridden patients by a simple "hello" from the puppet. I would think that would provide a cheerful note to their day. For whatever reason, Mr. Bob was adamantly against it. But once he'd committed to Pastor Langley, he was good for his word. Mr. Bob is not a ventriloquist, not by any stretch of the imagination, and I think there lies the hesitancy to perform. He admitted to being nervous about his upcoming participation.
With one last look in the mirror, off they went yesterday to fulfill
their obligation. Six ladies came to hear the word of the Lord. I think they were a little perplexed at the concept of a furry visitor.
I suspect Bob the Bear is Mr. Bob's alter ego. He's not prone to conversation, but is highly expressive in response to questions. A nod or shake of the head usually suffices and he often turns to Mr. Bob for encouragement and approval. The two Bobs are charming together.
In attendance was Mary, a lady who for years we used to see when attending jazz festivals. Until the last few years she was a charming hostess to newcomers just moving in to the Manor. Much of her fun-loving sparkle still shows. She's always in the front row when we're entertained by a musical group where she immediately nods off into slumber.
Not long ago she downsized to a single room in the Assisted Living section and proudly showed us her room, decorated by her daughter. I especially loved the large framed drawing of Mary in her younger days and several studies of her handsome husband.
As we departed, I saw a little sign on a table by her front door:
Mr. Bob, when I can coax him into it, fathers Bob the Bear for at the most about five minutes. Yesterday's Bible Study class lasted for an hour and nearly halfway through, his hand cramped. His solution was to put the bear up on his shoulder where he promptly took a nap. As did Ms. Mary.
Except for Mr. Bob, it was a very relaxed hour for the rest of us. Pastor Langley has that Southern way with words that is utterly at ease, at a slow and leisurely pace. I wish I had a recording to send along to you. So now we can add to our Manor experiences, attendance at a Bible Study class, albeit a very informal one.
That's a point for wise Pastor Langley. And for the two talented Bobs.