Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm back . . . I think . . .

I've really missed being here. I was also glad to have a break from “the routine”--God used a good portion of my time away to remind me of the most important things--time away from the technologies (TV or computers, etc) have been refreshing.

Rather than my simply report the events of our move, I was going to actually set this up like a Mad-Lib game because, 1) there were times this last week when I had no words to describe what was occurring, so filling in the blanks would have captured the spirit; and, 2) I was on drugs when I came up with the whole mad-lib idea (the reason will be clear later).

What began as a fiasco ended as an unequivocal quivering monstrosity of cock-eyed flum-dummery (either that, or "insert adjective here"). We had planned on completing our move in 2 days, but instead, finished 4 days later at 11:30 p.m.

The place we were moving was the House of Entropy--pre-existing problems experienced by the owners (as former tenants) worsened as we could not get proper repairs made after we had moved in almost three years previous. At some point, each one in our family has gotten sick and most of us stayed sick in our three years there. We were not aware how serious the problems were that caused our sickness until deeper into our move out--three rooms of the house were invaded by Black Mold, a process that began long before we arrived. We were forced to inspect every inch of everything we had looking for mold. About half of our furniture had to be destroyed, so every item had to be inspected piece by piece, inch by inch. Leslie and I still scratch our heads because even places that had just been cleaned were growing mold. It was unstoppable. Our move was providentially timed. Ironically, the things we had in storage remained untouched.

Late Tuesday afternoon during the move, I was met at the new house by two Jehovah's Witnesses from the local Kingdom Hall--we will here refer to them as "Reader" and "Partner". As I saw them, I was greatly impressed not to talk to them about anything, but just read the Bible. As “reader” began his presentation , I interrupted him by pointing to his Bible and asked him to please read to me some scripture. He gladly agreed. I asked (to Partner's chagrin) that he read from John's gospel.

Most people don't know this, but JW's consider Bible reading on an individual basis to be sin as one would be tempted to interpret for himself ("no prophecy of scripture is of one's own interpretation" and "make no idols"). JW's only read texts they are told to read by the Watchtower Society, and they do it as a group to avoid private interpretation, using Watchtower publications to explain what is read. Because we were a "group" they could read, but because I am considered to be a child of Satan and not part of the Kingdom, this caused them a problem. The point I was going to make was they had no argument with me, but placed a stumbling block before them with whom they had to do.

As each verse was read by Reader, Partner got more and more irritated. Each time Reader ended a verse, he tried to interpret--I just asked him to keep reading (after all, I did not want him to sin). Partner tried to bring in other subjects and other texts. I would ask, "Is this from the same passage he is reading from?" and he would get quiet. After about ten minutes, Reader had only read the first ten verses--not having read straight through a passage before was a challenge.

Curiosity got the best of them.

"Don't you have a Bible?" They asked.

"Yes, but I don't have it with me." I explained I was in the process of moving--they made no suggestion to help, much less leave, as most people would do if you suggest loading or unloading.

"Why do you want us to read you the Bible?" they asked.

"Because,” I replied, “I've not heard the reading of God's Word today [referring to the fact I'd not had devotions]; and there is no better way to learn about God and His Kingdom than reading the Bible."

They agreed. The partner pulled out a Watchtower Tract and pointed to quoted passage that underscored their agenda. I told him I did not know what that [tract] was, please read the passage from the Bible. Reader took the tract from me (!) and Partner, quite upset, found the passage and read it. "Great," I said, "let's read the whole chapter for context."

Reader began to comply, but Partner was greatly disturbed, huffing, “there are much better things to do than stand here and read the Bible.”

I said, "Fine. Come back when I am here and we will take up reading the Bible together right where we left off. Bring as many friends as you wish, as long as we only read the Bible."

They agreed. We will see. You will please pray.

My wife only got one day off from work during the move, and my daughter had none so I had to take Leslie and my daughter to work each day. Wednesday we got the truck and moved all the big stuff. I quickly was reminded of the blessing of living in an older house: those things which are near impossible to get through a mobile home door have no issues with older home doorways. Thanks to my friend and the kids, we got the truck loaded and unloaded in record time. The truck rental guy gave me extended time at no charge--real blessing there!

I got really sick late Thursday and almost went to Doctor's Care on Friday. I went to the Chiropractor instead and his laying on of hands provided the relief I needed to get done. The mold in our former house was unnatural and my allergies really took a beating. Those chapters of Leviticus concerning leprous clothes and houses crossed my mind frequently.

After eating a late lunch on Saturday, I spent the rest of the evening with my wife on a spontaneous date in the Emergency Room because I developed a sudden food allergy. At some point in my sudden after-lunch two-hour nap, my tongue had swollen ("swole-up", for my Texan breth'rn) and I was not really aware anything was wrong until I tried to speak, discovering quickly how drunk I sounded—and that I could not breathe. I was incoherent, my hands puffed up so much I could not even pick up a pen. Friends, I strongly do not recommend Benadryl by IV, ok? Ice water would feel much better. Inject a little Salumedrol (sp?) and you have one no little narcotic effect. I feel like a heathen.

The last couple of days, I have been battling bronchitis and other asthma-related issues. It will be another week or so before I get back into the full swing of things again.

So, we are all moved in. The kids are like, "I feel like I live at the Hampton Suites!" The dog is happy to have new trees. The turtle doesn’t know what to think, or he simply doesn't care.

Next week I hope to have ground turned for flower and vegetable gardens. A bit of a late start, but given the circumstances, we'll be just fine.

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