Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How not to bring someone to God

On Sunday, I heard a knock on the door and started heading down the stairs. Was I distracted by my ponderings on who it might be, or was it the fact that I was wearing shoes that I don't usually wear indoors? Whatever it was, I was about two-thirds of the way down when I lost my footing and went SMACK! down the stairs. I, of course, yelled out, "F***!"

Having reached the bottom of the stairs, I stood up and opened the door. (Yes, Mom, I looked first.) It was a Jehovah's Witness in a burgundy shirt and tie. Often, I am happy to engage in some sort of scriptural conversation with these folks, but not today. "Now's not a good time," I said. "I just fell down the stairs."

"Are you okay?" he said, but he also had that kind of suppressed smile that says, "I can see that you will be alright, so it's probably okay that I found your swearing so amusing." Then he gave me an invitation to the JW's annual regional assembly, which will be held in DeKalb, Illinois, this year. I didn't ask if it will be the same weekend as that town's famous corn festival so I could have a two-fer weekend getaway.

Fran is still missing and sometimes people I meet ask for updates -- like, if anyone knows where she might be. It's become more evident to me than usual that we humans want a narrative for everything, even the inexplicable. If anyone could fully explain Fran's disappearance or deduce her location, we would have found her by now. And yet we keep thinking that, suddenly, somehow, the answer will arise out of nowhere, and it will all be clear.

Thursday: 20 miles
Friday: 16.5 miles
Saturday: 60 miles
Monday: 17 miles

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