29 December 2012

The Last Misadventure: The Hanging Tree

I KNOW! I'M NOT DONE YET! Just one more eh? I'll make it good.

As you might have gathered by now, we are a family of tree climbers. For people who have scaled trees equivalent to the Eiffel Tower, we have surprisingly few injuries. I've only fallen on my head once.

I don't want to talk about it.

Once my sister tried to slide down a tree limb.



Alas! She was so young...

Anyway, my latest tree injury actually fractured my toe and put me out of commission for five weeks. Are you ready for this? I call it "The Hanging Tree."

It started  one lazy summer afternoon. My two siblings had been at music camp all week. We came to watch and videotape their grand performance. The weather was dandy, and during a moment I found myself alone, I spotted a great oak tree.


LITTLE DID I KNOW that this tree had a very conspicuous and very sharp metal hook stuck in it.


I don't know what it was there for. Probably for hanging Christmas lights. Or people. Anyway, I didn't notice it going up.

And I didn't notice it going down...

However, I DID notice that my right foot had ceased to move in harmony with the rest of my body.

I decided it was serious.

VERY serious.

It occurred to me I wouldn't be dancing for quite some while.

So while I was busy painting the sidewalk red, some kind passing woman happened to notice me.

HER: Oh honey! What happened to you!?

ME: Well, I was being stupid...

HER: Oh, I'm sure you weren't! What happened?

ME: Well, I was climbing that tree...

HER: Yeah?

ME: Barefoot...

HER: Uh-huh?

ME: And there was a hook in it...

HER: Yeah, you were stupid.

I didn't want her to call the police, partly because I'm tough as nails and don't need medical attention, and partly because I was sure the copper arrest me for climbing campus trees. It was a good thing she didn't listen to me though, because shirt-tourniquet wasn't working too well, and Niagara Falls was coming out of my foot.

But when the policeman showed up, it was quite clear he'd done this a million times before. I kinda got the impression he wasn't all there.

When my mom showed up, she wasn't exactly surprised either.

MOM: Pretending to be a whale, Raymond?
ME: Be glad I kept my legs together.

And I was wheeled my off to the emergency room before you could say It Seriously Isn't As Bad As You Think, Mom.

In my life I have been in the emergency room three times. The first time I was charging a BB gun and it snapped on my pinky. The second time I was cracking rocks open with a hammer and it ricocheted  in my face. The third time is, well, this. Naturally, by now I know all the doctors by name.

You know what was REALLY hilarious? They told me I was their "bestpatient all day, because I had the most exciting wound.  Even doctors get bored sometimes. 

FAQ: Did getting a metal hook run through your foot hurt? No.  Getting anesthetics shot in my foot to numb the supposed pain was UNBEARABLE.

So somewhere in mid-August, my summer was over.  The doctors put me on crutches and antibiotics for a month in a half.  And the moral of this story is--I'm afraid--so obvious it's hardly worth mentioning. In the meantime, I got a huge kick out of all the attention.

"I was rescuing an old lady's cat."
"I got in a fight with a rattlesnake."

"I was assaulted by  monkeys."

And sometimes, on rare occasions, I embellish things.

Merry Christmas, friendos!
-The Minstrel Boy

16 December 2012

When it's time to be forsaken

I get frustrated with God when I find out I can't summon fire from heaven.

Sometimes it feels like God was so much more tangible and real in the Bible times. He flooded the world, He parted the red sea, He reduced Ninevah to ashes. He had prophets running around like nobody's business. And then when you get further down history, the number of miracles become more and more sparse, until you reach today and these stories are nothing more than a Sunday school lesson. Almost like God is slowly drifting away from us.

I mean, come on, I HAVE the faith of a mustard seed, I should AT LEAST be able to cause a hurricane or a  solar eclipse or something, right? Why did the disciples have the power to heal the sick and cast out demons? If my life is anything short of completely extraordinary, something is obviously wrong. Look at Moses. Elijah. Gladys Aylward. George Mueller.  They prayed for the most ridiculous intervention, and God ridiculously intervened. So what's wrong with us? Maybe we need to muster up more faith.

 Wait, THAT's the problem.  It seems that nowadays, Christians think that God will only work in us if we can thoroughly convince ourselves that He can. As if God's power was completely reliable on whether we have faith in it. It's like we're going all Jedi all the sudden, just "search your feeelllliiiinnggs" and you be able to make things float! This is the most deadly, stupid mistake the world could make.

Let's go back to a few Doctor Who posts, because they explain things so well.

Truth Number One: We're all just stories in the end.

I'm not trying to be whimsical or anything, I was being literal. When I tell a story, whether in competition or around the campfire, I have one rule: Know the beginning, and know the end. Everything else is freestyle. My stories are different every time I tell them, but the beginning and end is closed for business.

Truth Number Two: Time can be re-written.

In season 6, enemies of the Doctor schedule an event in time where the Doctor is murdered. The Doctor's friends try to prevent it, but the Doctor insists that his death MUST take place, or all of history will disintegrate.  Just because time can be re-written doesn't mean every time can be re-written.  His sacrifice is a fixed point in time, and nothing in all the universe can stop it.

Perhaps the surest sign of the end of the world is our unanswered prayers.  Back in history when time was more flexible, God re-wrote all sorts of things. But the universe is "hardening and narrowing to a point" like Lewis said, and "Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing."  There are more fixed points than there ever has been. There will come a point where we will plea with God like Jesus did in the garden, saying "is there any other way this can be done?" We will scream "My God, My God, why have You forsaken us?" and just like Jesus, He will not answer.  Not because He has forsaken us, but because these events MUST take place. The Ultimate Story has reached Act III, the wheat shall be separated from the chaff. It's not that God is becoming less real, he's become more real and more solid than He's ever been.  His final chapter is taking place, right now.  His spirit is moving on this earth, and He's not waiting for our permission. 

This is my warning to all Christians out there if you've even gotten to the bottom of this post. Times are getting harder. Literally--getting--HARDER.  This is where we face our final test, because it's going to SEEM like He's abandoned us (even though He hasn't). This is why "feelings" are going to be especially unhelpful right now. On the bright side, it's only going to get a million times worse.  Good and evil is becoming superlatively polarized, and the last battle has begun.  

So brace yourselves, warriors. It's time to be forsaken.
-The Minstrel Boy

11 December 2012

We're not stealing, we're borrowing!

Just saw The Secret World of Arrietty.

It's about pin-sized girl who lives in the cracks of floorboards.

So I woke up this morning and found THIS all over my bedroom.

And then I saw teeny weeny little footprints all over the banister.

At first I was like, "OHMAIGOSH SHE'S HERE!!!!" --and then I remembered I made it myself yesterday. But still....