I thought I’d try to tell you about today, it’s been a good day. Let me go back to the beginning when I sent you the first email this morning. I sat at the computer alone for thirty minutes trying to peck out each word and compose my thoughts at the same time. Normally if I’m going to try to quote scripture to you, I’ll stop and go in search of my Bible because I know how big you are on where it is in that little black Book, who said it, you know the author, chapter, and verse. This morning for some reason it was more important to convey the thought than where I could find it in the Book.
About thirty minutes after I had finished composing my thoughts and hit send to get the email to you, I walked back into the computer room and there sits my Strange child reading a book. We have a ritual, either me or him, always start our first greeting of the day with a heartfelt ‘good morning.’ Today it was me, “Good morning Strange One. What are you doing?” He replied, “Reading a book.” I went “Duh, what book?” He said, “Orange is the New Black.” I was like “I’ve heard of that somewhere before, isn’t it a TV program?” He said it was.
My next question to him was “Hey you know the story in the Bible where this woman only had a little flour in her barrel and she was making a meal for her and her son so they could die?” (Remember I told you Strange One is a Bible scholar. He grew up in a religious school.) When he said no it shocked me. I thought to myself, damn am I getting old and my memory playing tricks on me? Then I was like nah, maybe I read it in the Torah, Inja or Koran. The more I thought about it the more I kept seeing a vision of those words in the Bible. Strange One could see my confusion and told me to ask Amish. Strange One has a very high opinion of Amish where religious studies are concerned.
His religious background really is Amish, you know those people who still live close to nature as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. However, he has just a touch of modernization in his background. He’s a professional artist in the world. Strange One and I talked a little bit longer about the story I was in search of and I took off to see Amish. He and I have talked extensively on several occasions about scripture and our understanding of what those scriptures mean. However, today I got a real surprise when I explained to him what it was I was looking for. He had a blank stare on his face. I mean totally blank. “I’ve never seen that before Old Skewl.” He said, “It has to be a parable. It sounds like a parable to me anyways.” Now that I think back on that part of the conversation that he had not doubted for a minute that I’d read what I had said that I’d read.
I left to go to education to work for a few hours on the Egyptology class I’m going to be teaching. when I returned the first person I saw was old faithful (Strange One). “Hey, did you find that scripture I was talking about?” He replied that he hadn’t but he had talked to Amish who was looking for it and had left it at that. When I found Amish he was in the room with Jeremy who is affectionately called Giraffe. He is a Bible scholar to some degree in his own right. Kevin was in there also with a Bible in his hand. The three of them were discussing this woman who had been preparing a meal for her and her son so that they could die. Remember now, I’d been out of the unit for a few hours so I can’t say they had been discussing it the entire time, but when I walked up on them they were. In that moment I felt something special was floating around the unit. The first thing that came to my mind at that point was call Big Mama, she would know. So I did. After hanging up I went back in search of our other child. Strange One was in the room with Clark. You remember the guy I told you about that I was so proud of Strange One for smashing him with the Word, so I told him what was going on. Clark really thinks he is the residential Bible scholar and as much as I know it hurt Strange One to give him props, he did tell me later that Clark said he recalled the story and believed it was in Kings somewhere. But they were still not able to find it.
This is the part of the story that I really wanted to tell you. Sometimes God has a ram in the bush and He’ll only show that ram on his own time. There’s another guy in the unit, a guy from the Dominican Republic. His English is good, but is often broken. I’ve seen him on numerous occasions studying for a college level Bible study class. We’ve even spoken about the Bible on several occasions. I didn’t pose the question to him about the woman and the meal. His cell is across from Jeremy and he overheard them talking about it. That was about 2:30. As you know, we have a 4 PM stand up count. During that time the officers expect quiet and everyone standing. I hear someone saying, “Old Skewl,’ in that quiet way of speaking that’s loud as hell. When I look up it’s Fox (the Dominican) saying “I Kings 17:8”
At first it didn’t dawn on me what he was talking about. I picked up my Bible, turned to that scripture and felt an overwhelming sense of elation. He didn’t stop there. He was telling everyone that he knew that had been looking for that scripture where to find it. Vicariously you touched quite a few lives in here today. I shouldn’t be surprised, you’re special. I went to the computer at 4:30 and there you were with the exact same answer for us as well. Thank you for shining a little light in the Twilight Zone today.
I love you.