I'm feeling quite exuberant today (really, that is the best word to describe how I feel) because Matt and I are packing up the doodle and heading home to southwest Virginia for the first time in almost a year. It's strange--even though I'm married and all, I don't think I will ever stop referring to the house where I grew up as "home." It will always hold a piece of my heart.
|When you're talkin home you mean the Old Dominion...|
At this point, you're probably wondering what the hell the title of this post is about. It was inspired by a pen that somehow wound up in my office.
At first glance, it looks like your typical, run-of-the-mill ink pen, right?
But wait! There is a handy dandy scroll that rolls out to ask "have you showered today," because we all need a friendly reminder every now and then.
The message goes on about how basically we're all liars and we need to accept Jesus ASAP so we can be spiritually showered. Think of the Messiah as a loofah for your soul, only you don't have to replace Him every so often due to the growth of bacteria (that metaphor was all my own, thank you).
I've got to hand it to this church for its creative use of an ink pen--A+ for advertising and a real attention grabbing message. However, I give the quality of the pen itself a C-.
That message got me a-thinkin' about a story I would like to share with you, dear readers. It was the year 2004 (I think), and I was an innocent, fresh-faced high school junior. Every weekend, my friend Kacie and I would get dressed up (which means we wore something a little nicer than a band t-shirt) and we would hit the local hot spots to "meet hot guys." The local hot spots included Logan's Steakhouse or Java J's--whichever we were in the mood to visit.
|Here we are at Crackerbarrel. See what I mean by hotspots?|
Our mission was rarely, if ever, successful, but we did manage to befriend some weird people. I mean, looking back on it, I just don't know what we were thinking. Were we that desperate for company? Did we feel sorry for these people and thought our friendship could be a light shining in the darkness? Whatever the reason, these weirdos became a part of our hang-outs and it generated some great stories.
One particular afternoon, Kacie and I were brainstorming prom dates when in walked Randall*. Randall zeroed in on us and approached with a big smile on his face. He said nothing, just kept looking at us and smiling as he sat down and handed us two, tiny picture books. He kept smiling, sat for a minute, then he got up and left. He didn't utter a word the entire time.
Bizarre as that was, we just had to see what was in those picture books! Friends--it was disturbing. It was two little children (one could assume it was a brother and sister), and they had these awful sores all over and stink lines were emanating from their bodies. Sad as that may be, nobody wanted to help these creepy children, and then on the next page they were somehow cast into the pits of Hell.
|Not Hell, Michigan. The other one.|
Image via Amy at Club Narwhal
How did this story end? Well, as can be expected, the children had a come-to-Jesus moment (literally!) and they were whisked up to Heaven, where their sores were healed and someone taught them how to use deodorant.
Kacie and I were completely flummoxed (lots of big words today, keep up) by the whole situation. What kind of message was Randall trying to convey? Was he trying to tell us that we, too, were like the children and needed spiritual guidance? Or perhaps Randall himself was feeling the weighty burden of being a dirty sinner in the eyes of God, and was trying to reach out to his good catholic friends for help.
We will never know Randall's intentions, but we can be certain of one thing--I'm sure to see that little picture book again somewhere, perhaps in boxes of old memorabilia from my high school days, or more likely in a Guillermo del Toro directed horror film.
Enjoy the bliss of the weekend, friends.
*Name obviously changed to protect the innocent, and because I cannot remember which particular weirdo was involved in this story.