Yesterday during prayer, a woman who was praying said something to the effect, "Protect our friend in the hospital..." My head was bowed (I was praying). He reached over to me, lifted up my chin to get my attention and pointed to the crook in his arm. The way he did it, I knew exactly what he was trying to communicate; the experience of getting a needle in his arm for taking blood. He pointed to his arm once again, and held his hand up in my face and shook it to say "No." I said to him, "Are you talking about the hospital?" He responded by pointing like a needle in his arm and again shaking his open hand in my face to say no. "You don't like the hospital do you?" I asked. He shook his hand in my face again, agreeing "No." "Yeah I don't like the hospital either" I replied.
That interaction struck me in that in all the verbiage that was occurring in the class between the teacher talking, the others in the group talking and the actual prayer, he picked out a word that he was familiar with and had an immediate communicative response. My assumption was that he was not attending, perhaps my perception was that he was unable to attend. He totally blew me out of the water by attending, recognizing a concept that was presented, gaining my attention, and communicating to me what he thought about the concept. Hopefully, I will not underestimate him again.