The Science Has Settled

The foul stench of burning lithium batteries – thermal runaway – mingled with the rancid smell of decaying protein – rotting victims of spike protein injections – fills the air. The reek, still in my nostrils from yesterday’s walk, lays on my tongue as a putrid tasting film. The heavy odor of gases formed by decomposing batteries and humans attaches to everything. Another rotten egg day. One didn’t have to be a prophet to see these days would come. Two plus two equal four and man versus God equals 2030.

My basement apartment, packed with a six-year supply of food and water, and several cases of Zero candy bars, is a bunker. The street level windows are barred and painted over. My door is reinforced with steel plates. The tiny apartment quarters are safe and suffocating. Going outside was not safe but a bit of relief.

I put on an N95 mask to go outside. You had to. One couldn’t be sure of what was floating in the air. Destruction followed destruction in the name of Progress. The old had to be torn down to allow the new to rise from the ashes. That’s what OneChannelTV preached and people believe its gospel. The air is filled with all kinds of crap.

While mankind pinches its nose and turns to the TV to give them their tomorrows, I take long walks along Jemison Lake. The breeze off the lake wafts free. The wind blows where it wants to. I feel and hear and see its effects. Walking along the lake, I am reminded once again that I am a human living among the technology possessed.

*****

Many humans gave up their feeling-seeing-hearing ghost to a 24/7 smartphone addiction. I saw it happen in 2020. People gave themselves over to a digital life and to a complete dependence on handheld machines. The Metaverse became their augmented reality encompassing relationships, work, shopping, and entertainment. They began to love their avatar as themselves.

In their quest for not-having-to-think autonomy, people became automatons. They learned from the XYZists that independent thought was dangerous. It was discouraged and censored as not being inclusive or as “racist” or not XYZ. Not thinking began to be believed as freedom from punishment-incurring ‘wrong’ thoughts. What you were to think came from a smartphone that you kept with you 24/7.

The XYZists were happy to give people their ‘freedom’ and to do the thinking for them. With the ruse of a public health crisis in 2020, they instituted a biotech process to reprogram the masses. They began with mandating DNA and RNA-modifying COVID vaccines.  They had their reasons for doing so – population control and remaking people into their godless image.

The XYZists and their minions hate people. That is why they are never happy or satisfied with the human race. They must redo creation. They must rid the earth of the excess and neutralize what is left behind.

Since the XYZists hate everything that doesn’t reflect their own words and thoughts, challenging them meant you were a “Supremist”. Not responding to them in kind meant you were “racist”. The XYZists had their own published style guide to be used in their presence. If they considered you to be a “supremist” or a “racist” or a “bigot”” or a “XYZistaphobe” then you would receive “social justice”. Force, aka mandates, is used against those who resist the XYZist societal transformation and the New World they espouse.

So, they began to use vaccines to cull a significant portion of the population and to modify those who survived. They used biotechnology to produce people that they might abide. And that meant turning those humans into Uh-huhs. The non-thinkarians quickly submitted to authoritarian XYZists out of fear for their WIFI streaming lives. The XYZists tell people what to fear and what not to fear. They use rollover-and-play-nice psyops to get people to comply.

These days I can never be sure if I am talking to the actual person or to an app controlling their thoughts. So, I test them: I say “Jesus is Lord”. If they look at me blankly, I know they have given themselves over to an app.

*****

Ever since the latest burst of electromagnetic radiation – a sun burp or manmade the weekly public affairs program Mask the Nation wouldn’t say –it’s been Halloween. Mindless ghouls and zombies with vacant stares walk the streets. These had submitted to vaccines during the years of TransMandates.

The vaccine cocktails included modified RNA, Luciferase enzyme and graphene oxide nanoparticles -GONPs. Graphene is highly conductive and anxiolytic. So, the freakish and fuddled, who glow blue at night from the bioluminescent Luciferase, can’t find their way home and they don’t care. Their apps went haywire.

Following the vaccines, transcranial electromagnetic stimulation had been imposed on most of the world’s population. Brain chips were mandated by the Emergency Use Authority as a cure-all for mankind – as I said, the masses were viewed with fastidious disgust by XYZists. In the years following 2021, XYZists became members of the Central Life Oversight and Utilization Department or C.L.O.U.D.

TMS brain chips gave C.l.O.U.D. a read-write capability over neurons. The chips could probe and stimulate them. Democracy’s Last Hope Alliance, contracted by the EUA, monitors and modulates neuronal activity. Controlling the outcomes of the brain-chipped Appoids was the purview of DLHA and the EUA. After the EMP, they were working feverishly together to get their Appoids back inline again.

The G2G pass app implanted in Appoid brains told them where they could or could not go. Each Appoid was to check in with a smartphone photo during the day. But after EMPs things go bonkers sending the brain-chipped into spirals of confusion.  The DLHA and the EUA  rush to get new community organizing smartphones and new cats handed out.

The cats, you see, have been implanted with a camera, microphone and an app that reports back to DLHA the activities and conversations of the Appoids. But, the Catoids also go haywire after EMPs. The defective Catoids are scrapped and replaced by a DLHA C. A. T. unit – a Clean Account Transmission unit. I am not making this up.

*****

The World Truth Federation, C.L.O.U.D.’s central committee, keeps tabs on everyone except for us Blanks. Me and a few of my close friends claimed the “Blanks” label when COVID Compliance Officer Heinrich B. Smersch called the unvaccinated “blankety-blank fools” on Mask the Nation. “Blanks” you see, are off the radar.

“Blanks” blend in. We move through crowds of Appoids without being noticed. We hide in plain sight. We don’t call attention to ourselves. On my way to the lake and to Joes, I stumble around with a mask on and with my eyes glazed over. I wear dirty smelly clothes like the Appoids. And since there are C.L.O.U.D cameras and UniForce police everywhere I have to be careful. As a “Blank” I have never submitted to “the science”.  I have to avoid getting close enough to a UniForce officer. He will scan me for Appoid status.

The ubiquitous presence of WTF surveillance is matched by the ubiquitous presence of souls that have converted to “the science”. Among these souls are the Appoid women of the Thought Temperance Union. They march down the street with signs that read “No Jab No Justice”. Their children, the ones who survived the vaccine’s miscarriage properties and survived abortions – their aborted fetal cells being used for vaccine testing and XYZist life-extension serums – panhandle for food money. And there is ever-present smell of death coming from “the science” converted.

*****

On my way home, I stop at Grocer Joes – a black market supplier. I trade Joe two of my Zero bars for another night of hot plate Spam. I use Joe’s Faraday-caged Crypto ATM for transaction privacy. The People’s IRS began monitoring all transactions in 2022.

I finish up and put my crypto wallet back into my military grade Faraday bag. I tip my hat to Joe and sign “later” and “one”. I head to over to Last Chance Pizza.

Melanie is waiting for me. We go into a back room. Melanie signs “tonight” and “One”. I sign “Yes” and 6 Mil”. We hug and I head home.

6 Mil is the guy who lives across the hall from me. I gave him the name because he has so many bionic parts that he reminded me of the Six Million Dollar man. His brain chip was fried by solar storms. He didn’t opt for a new chip so he was fired from the UniForce. 6 Mil lets me in the back door and I invite him in for Spam.

You’ll need some backstory at this point.

*****

Back in 2021, one would have thought that ministers and priests would have alerted their congregations to the evil that was being sown around them. But they kept giving their people the soy milk of the word.

Many of the faithful in 2021, who lived on a thin margin of faith, began to unload their faith. They didn’t have to imagine what would happen to them if they didn’t mask and vax up. So, they submitted to the authorities by calling it Biblical to do so. Their faith was easy pickings. The State swooped down and grabbed it up. These now attend Our Lady of Perpetual COVID.

There were those faithful who didn’t have much of a faith history to fall back on. They heard gospel things and spoke up, making all kinds of noise about the evil going on. But under public scrutiny they folded and bowed to the self-proclaimed gods of the State, rendering to them everything demanded of them.

There were those who fell in with Progressives. Their faith was quickly choked. For, Progressives have an overpowering bent toward social justice gospel.

Then there were the five. Those I am aware of “five”. We meet secretly, two or three at a time. How did I come across the others? More backstory is needed.

*****

Ever since I turned sixty-nine in 2021 there has been a voice inside me that tells me to not resist and to just retreat. “Just go along and finish your life. Do what they say. Sit on your patio, smell the cut grass, feel the sun, look back on what you’ve accomplished, feel safe, don’t stress, forget about conflict.” But another voice is telling me “I go where I will. I’ll show you what needs to be done.”

In 2021 I was stirred by the second voice. I began to memorize Scripture. After I memorized The Gospel According to Mark, I started to go out to street corners and recite it out loud. I had to recite and walk so that I was wasn’t considered to be loitering. I continue to do this today.

In the afternoons I go out, take off my mask and recite the Gospel of Mark out loud. There are many in the streets right now who have lost their app connections because of the EMP. Some have refused to be reconnected and are looking for a way out. So, I am able to connect with souls and not just app personifications.

What you may find interesting is that when I am reciting the gospel out loud, the UniForce doesn’t notice me. Angels come between me and them so that the good news gets out.

Then there were five. Over the course of the past year four have begun to follow Christ. They are Joe, Melanie, Violet and 6 Mil. I have discipled each of them. Tonight, we are coming together for 6 Mil’s baptism.

We hold baptisms at Jemison Lake after midnight. We put blue glow sticks under out shirts to throw off the Uniforce and the surveillance drones. We use sign language until we are sure we are alone.

Since 2020, electronic gizmos have been implanted into brains and bloodstreams. Nature and society have been repackaged into a simulated environment. Virtual reality replaces realism. Life has become a bizarro graphic novel . . . except for a few minutes by the lake.

*****

You ask about me? My current name is Lena. I was baptized in my eleventh year. I lost my job in my sixty-ninth year because of the vaccine mandate. Nine years later my body is fragile and my faith solid

I can’t bear to see the destruction all around me. I can’t bear hearing the anguished cries of the souls who gave their lives to “the science”. But I can’t ignore any of it either. These were once fully human, so they must long for healing. And, they must want justice for what’s been done to the human race.

2030 and the science has settled. Its putrid tasting film lays on my tongue. Humans have been sacrificed for “the science”. But MATTERS aren’t settled yet. Wait and see.

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2021, All Rights Reserved

*****

Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.

-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago and The Wisdom of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – YouTube

*****

Episode_1299 You are in danger of becoming a debt slave Dr. Betsy McCaughey, Dr. James Poulos, Dr. Peter Navarro, Joe Allen
Episode_1336 Jam for Freedom tour discuss censorship with SG Cheah and talk with Dr. Wolf on her new platform with GETTR.

*****

Informed Dissent:

(UPDATED) Exclusive Summary: Covid-19 Vaccine Concerns | Sharyl Attkisson

More than 500,000 adverse events reported after COVID vaccines, from temps to neuropathy | Just The News

Ivermectin has been used in humans for 35 years and over 4 billion doses have been administered. Merck, the original patent holder, donated 3.7 billion doses to developing countries. In 2015 the two individuals who developed Ivermectin were awarded a Nobel Prize for medicine.

Looking for life saving protocols for the prevention and treatment of COVID?

Home – FLCCC | Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (covid19criticalcare.com)

100-200 Members of Congress treated with Ivermectin… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Doctor revels how the FDA and CDC are hiding the truth on COVID Vaccines

Study Reveals COVID Vaccines contain Graphene, Other Toxins – Vision Times

“Damn You To Hell, You Will Not Destroy America” – Here Is The ‘Spartacus COVID Letter’ That’s Gone Viral | ZeroHedge

BREAKING: Sen. Ron Johnson: There is NO an FDA Approved COVID Vaccine in the U.S. (welovetrump.com)

Antibodies Persist with Natural Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (jeremyrhammond.com)

RECEIPTS! Patent PROVES Vaxx is Obedience Training Platform – THE FINAL VARIANT! (redvoicemedia.com)

Natural Immunity and Covid-19: Twenty-Nine Scientific Studies to Share with Employers, Health Officials, and Politicians ⋆ Brownstone Institute

Covid-19 vaccine antibodies may disappear after 7 months . . . 

Durability of immune responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine | bioRxiv

NO COVID VACCINE MANDATE (jacksonlahmeyer.com)

Analysis of the Effects of COVID-19 Mask Mandates on Hospital Resource Consumption and Mortality at the County Level

Exploring the binding efficacy of ivermectin against the key proteins of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis: an in silico approach

Deaths Among Teenagers Up 56% Since Vaccine Roll-Out Began – The Daily Sceptic

Effects of Graphene Oxide Nanoparticles on the Immune System Biomarkers Produced by RAW 264.7 and Human Whole Blood Cell Cultures – PubMed (nih.gov)

NBA player got blood clots from Vaccine… ‘Hawks told me to keep it secret’… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

UK Medicine Regulator confirms there have been four times as many deaths due to the Covid-19 Vaccines in 8 months than deaths due to all other Vaccines combined in 20 years – The Expose

Pfizer whistleblower claims vaccines glows | LifeSiteNews (gab.com)

What is Luciferase? | Comfort for Christians (alecsatin.com)

Epic video showcases falling vaccine effectiveness rate and makes mincemeat out of Fauci | Bianco (gab.com)

‘The fully Vaccinated are the superspreaders’… Dr. Robert Malone explains why… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Peter McCullough speaks at the 78th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons on October 2, 2021.

Dr. Peter McCullough ‘Therapeutic Nihilism And Untested Novel Therapies’ | AAPS (rumble.com)

BOMBSHELL Deaths Skyrocketed by 300% After COVID Vaccine – Funeral Director Blows The Whistle | Red Voice Media (gab.com)

Telehealth:

Schedule Telehealth Appt (rhsusa.com)

Ivermectin:

Ivermectin + Immune Boost | Remote Health Solutions (rhsusa.com)

Prescription of Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine as Off-Label Medicines for the Prevention or Treatment of Covid-19 | Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson

Transhumanism:

Dr. Carrie Madej – Covid mRNA Vaccines altering our DNA – and what is ‘Luciferase’ (bitchute.com)

Transhumanists Gather In Spain To Plan Global Transformation (thefederalist.com)

Emergency Use Freedom

It was 8 o’clock. Carl was late and not moving. Idling black buses with grating on the windows and large “In Science We Trust” logos on the sides backed up the streets of Whatchit. Carl hoped he wasn’t too late.

Carl finally saw the opening. He revved his bike, weaved between three buses and entered the alley behind Eatup. He parked the Ducati Multistrada behind the restaurant. He had to be careful. Facial recognition cameras were everywhere.

He got out a beard and glasses from the tank bag. Behind a dumpster, he took off his helmet and put on the beard with mustache. Earlier that morning he placed a piece of duct tape across the hairy opening.

Next, he put on dark sun glasses and a baseball cap. He adjusted his ‘mask’ in the bike’s rear-view mirror. Before he walked around to the front door, he put a clothespin across his nostrils. EatUp had a mask requirement sign on their door.

Carl would never wear a mask or take the jab. But that didn’t matter to Joe Collins, the owner of EatUp. Carl found that out and more from Stephanie.

~

EatUp was the gateway to a network of secret routes and safe houses – a passageway providing escape from the COVIDian masters. If you wanted to flee from the verbal whippings, the VaxVerify branding and being sent to slave quarters – the “Health” hotels and “Safe Space” internment camps – you found someone who knew Joe. Stephanie knew Joe.

Carl learned from Stephanie that Joe would provide IDs and safe passage to Jasper County in the western end of the state. There they would find The Community – a building-less church that met at different locations in remote areas. Evangelist Luke told Stephanie, “What’s the point of having a building were people sit in rows with masks on listening to Bible stories and sermons they’ve heard a thousand time before. We are a community of the alive, not of zombies.”

The people of The Community had set up a parallel society apart from the New World Social Order created by COVIDian overlords. The Community thrived with its own school, clinic, and a semi-barter economy. Teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, white hat hackers – a host of professionals who lost their employment when they said “no” to the jab – came to county and to The Community.

Those of The Community didn’t use email, texting or smartphones. They did not want to be monitored by the State and its contact tracing software. They threw away all electronic devices before they came into the group. Communication with the outside world was made possible with computers that white hat hackers set up to be untraceable. Otherwise, day to day, the people of The Community communicated solely one on one, mask-less, and with a handshake.

Jasper County declared itself a “Constitutional County” right after the insurrection on November 3rd 2020. When unconstitutional, tyrannical and immoral mandates started coming out of the Biden regime and the Blue State collaborators, The Community began.

Under the regime’s new dictator, COVID Swat teams were instituted. If there was no record of you being vaccinated, the CSTs would swoop in, grab you and send you to one of several “Safe Space” internment camps owned and operated by billionaires like Bill Gates. These same camps have laboratories where the organs and tissues of aborted humans are used to produce COVID vaccinations and genetic mutations. The people in these camps were the guinea pigs for lab tests.

The only direction that Joe gave Stephanie: go west out of town about 30 miles. You’ll see Hilts Farm Stand. Ask for Connie. She will ask for your password – “Brass Serpent”.

~

Carl jogged around to the main street. Heads turned. From the sidewalk he could see Stephanie sitting inside EatUp. She was looking at her watch. “Good, I’m not late!”

Carl went in and sat down at her table. A muffled “hello” came out from behind the getup.

“You’re quite a sight.”

“Whatever do you mean?” Carl’s right eyebrow arched above the rim of the sun glasses. “Imagination is the only mask I need.

“They keep looking inside.” Stephanie nodded to the gaggle of Emergency Use Authorized Deputies  – OSHA’s COVID FIRST Officers – and bus drivers smoking cigarettes outside EatUp. “I’m afraid one of those EUADs will recognize me at any moment.”

“We need to move quickly.” Carl leaned over and picked up a bag. “I’ve brought a disguise for you, Ms. Stifleboner.”

“Stifleboner?! Is that the name you gave Joe? Couldn’t you pick a common name?”

“Here’s horn-rimmed glasses and a mole for your right cheek and a black wig. We’ll make a lovely couple.” Carl stood up and gave a wide sweep with his arms: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

“Sit down Shakespeare, you’re attracting too much attention. I’ll pay Joe, get our IDs and then go to the bathroom and put this stuff on. Then we better scat. There’s a swarm of COVIDians in this restaurant, too.” Stephanie left the table.

Outside, one of the EUADs saw Carl’s performance and his “MASK ON MASK OFF MASK ON” tee shirt. Officer Loucrats stomped out his smoke and went inside. There was a look of horror on the officer’s face as he walked up behind Carl. The back of Carl’s tee shirt read “I CAN’T BREATHE.”

Officer Loucrats came around the table and held up his phone to Carl’s face. “Take that clothespin off your nose.”

“If I do all the air will come out and I’ll fly around the room.

“I need to scan you for your COVID profile smart guy.”

“I’m not on Instagram, if you’re wondering. I have done Shakespeare in the park if you want an autograph.”

“What’s your name?” snarled Officer Loucrats.

“I’m Carl, Carl Libaum. Carl with a C L-i-p-b-a-u-m. Lipbuam”

“Hmmm. I’m not finding you in my system.”

“I was pooped out last week.”

“Listen wise guy, this COVID business is deadly serious.”

“I can tell by your grim reaper look and the face diaper.”

“We have places for people like you.”

“Yeah, I hear that your “Safe Space” internment gulag is a hoot. Satanic abortion and mask wearing rituals.”

“Are you vaccinated?” Officer Loucrats placed his hand on Carl’s shoulder.

“And here I thought you would be a “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” kind of guy. Are you a ‘my body my choice, diversity, equity and inclusion kind of guy?”

“This is not about freedom. It is about personal choice: follow the science or be sent to a place where the science keeps a close eye on you.”

“To thine own eyes be true. If I go to your summer camp would that hurt my credit rating and my company’s ESG score?”

Officer Loucrats’ scowled. He was looking daggers at Carl. But Carl continued.

“Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
To foreign passages, and in the end,
Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
But that I was a journeyman to grief?”

“Good effing grief, man! Sit down shut up and tell me if you are vaccinated!”

“Sir, I am waiting for my civil rights attorney. Ah. Here she is.”

Stephanie returned to the table. “Carl, dear, I’m ready. Let’s go.”

“Wait a minute!” COVID Officer Loucrats held out his hand like a stop sign when he saw The Great Escape movie poster tee shirt she was wearing.

“And you, what’s your name missy?

“I’m Stephanie . . . Stephanie Stifleboner.”

“Let’s see.” Officer Loucrats scanned her face with the phone. “Hmmmm. Stifleboner you said?” He began keying in the name and then stopped and looked up, brows furrowed.

“Some people have a hard time with that name.” Stephanie winked at Carl.

“How do you spell it?”

“Honey, show him your ID so we can get going.” Carl prompted Stephanie.

“Both of you, give me your covid passports,” Officer Loucrats snarled.

Carl handed Officer Loucrats a small booklet.

“What’s this?”

“Oh, that’s my daily devotional. I’m in good hands. I’m covered. You New World Order Guys should read it.”

“Do you have a vaccine passport or digital documentation of COVID certification? A QR code”?

“I have a patch.” Carl showed Officer Loucrats his nicotine patch.

“Do you have a vaccine passport?” Officer Loucrats demanded.

“Your commandant said that the science is changing. Does that mean that natural immunity is now “in” or is he pushing big pharma’s booster shot du jour?

“Again, do you have a vaccine passport or am I going to cart you and Ms. Stiflewhatever to one of our buses?

Carl took on a thoughtful pose. “Well Officer Loucrats, it appears that the very slight asymmetry of matter and antimatter that made it possible for us to have this lovely chat today is now in danger of dramatic reversal.”

“Do you . . .”

“Look at that!” Carl jumped up and pointed outside the window. “Climate change!”

“I see it too!” Joe walked up behind Officer Loucrats. He cajoled Officer Lucrats to go over and look out the window. As the two searched the skyline, Carl and Stephanie walked over to the kitchen, ducked behind the counter and below the order window and headed for the back door.

Officer Loucrats put his hands-on-the-hips, got up on his toes and then came down on his heels with a loud huff. “I don’t see no climate change.”

Joe pointed again, “You’re right. Climate change . . . see that cloud of smoke.”

“That’s smoke from their cigarettes, you buffoon. I know climate change when I see it. Hey where did those two go?”

“They left. Something about a wedding.” Joe walked back to the kitchen.


Outside, Carl gave Stephanie his helmet and got on the bike. He tossed the clothespin. Stephanie got on behind Carl and put her satchel of things between them. She held on to Carl.

Carl started the bike and revved the engine. He took off down alleyways and side streets until he came to Rte. 17, a route that would take him to the farm stand.

As he headed west, black buses were heading into Whatchit. As long as they were heading into town he wasn’t concerned. Thirty minutes later he pulled up to Hilts Farm Stand.

Three people stood behind the stand. Carl came up and spoke to the oldest. “Are you Connie?”

“Shhhh, not too loud. There are COVIDians everywhere. They’ll turn in you for a profit without giving you a thought. Yes, I’m Connie. Do you have something for me?”

“Ah . . .” Carl looked over at Stephanie.

“Brass Serpent,” Stephanie whispered.

“Good,” Connie replied. “I want you to bring your bike with me. We’re going up to the house. Shane and Esther, watch the stand for me. I’m taking these two to the house. You know what to do.” Connie turned to Carl and Stephanie. “These are my teenagers. The good Lord blessed me with those two.”

As they walked across the quarter acre of lawn leading to the house, Carl asked Connie “Is this your farm?

“Oh no,” Connie responded. This farm belongs to Billy and Betty. This is just a way station of sorts. You’ll stay with them until this evening. They’ll feed you. They have plenty of organic vegetables. And Betty’s apple pie is to die for. Then, we’ll drive to New Paradigm farm over in Jasper County. You better get some rest. Tonight, The Community is coming together for hoedown.”

 While Shane and Esther were watching the stand, a black bus pulled up. The bus driver and officer Loucrats got out to smoke their cigarettes. After fifteen minutes, they came over to the farm stand and scanned the faces of Shane and Esther. Nothing came up on the COVID TracUDown system radar so they just looked at the tomatoes and corn and decided to buy a gross of each.

Officer Loucrats, still angry at his breakfast encounter with Carl, asked “Have you two seen a guy with a beard and a clothespin on his nose come through here going to a wedding?”

Shane took the grass he’d been chewing on out of his mouth. “No sir. We’d notice something like that and besides, there hain’t no weddings I know of. They’ve all been cancelled due to COVID mandates.”

Officer Loucrats went behind the stand and looked up at the farm house. “I think I’ll go have a look.”

“Help yourself,” Esther offered.

Shane asked “How many people ya got in that bus? Must be fifty. And why is the bus driver waving?”

Officer Loucrats turned around. The bus driver was yelling something and pointing at his watch. “Oh. That ole coot wants me to get a move on. I don’t move for nobody.”

He came back around to the front of the farm stand and paid for the corn and tomatoes. “If you see those two fugitives then you best call me right away.” Officer Loucrats gave Shane his card.

“Yes sir,” Shane responded. “I sure could use the reward money.”

“You and me both, kid.” With that, Officer Loucrats got on the bus and headed on his way.

~

The drive to New Paradigm Farm was uneventful and yet strange. Carl’s Ducati was loaded onto the back of Connie’s ’76 Chevy C65 truck. Carl and Stephine sat in front with Connie. There was nothing peculiar about that or about the pale light from the full moon which gave the journey a mysterious aura, as if you were in an old black and white movie. But here Carl was. He was sitting in a truck going down a country road and leaving behind a life he had invested in because now nothing is what it seems any longer. He felt grief at the loss, relief to be rid of it and hope at the chance to live in a community that wanted to live in truth.

Connie pulled up to her barn. Her husband came out of the barn, got up on the truck step and gave her a kiss through the truck window. Then he helped Carl unload the Ducati and put it in the barn. Connie showed Stephanie where she and Carl would sleep that night. She told both of them to be ready for the Hoedown at 8 o’clock.

After a short drive over to New Paradigm Farm, Connie, her husband Rick, Stephanie, and Carl entered the new barn. The people of The Community had erected the barn over the past two weeks. Tonight, they would celebrate with music and dance.

Connie introduced Carl and Stephanie to as many people as she could. Finally, she told Pastor Johnson to introduce them to the crowd of over two hundred gathered that night.

“Ladies and Gentlemen.” Pastor Johnson thumped the microphone to make sure he was being heard. “Welcome to our barn raising hoedown on New Paradigm Farm. To preface this dedication, I want to say a few words to the newcomers.

“First of all, welcome to The Community! I ask that you do not see this community as a cloister or convent where one goes to become otherworldly. I ask that you plant both feet on the ground and help us to continue self-sustainability.

We – The Community – we see this enterprise as a down-to-earth place where one thrives and thinks independently without fear of reprisal. I ask that you see The Community as a habitation zone that is a world apart from the system of appearances and lies. I ask that you see this community as the means to nourish a continuity of political thought that founded this country.

The Community is not hiding from the world. Here we are in Jasper County, a “Constitutional County” that is making itself known as a county that respects the Constitution and the rights of citizens. No, we are not hiding from the world. But we will keep ourselves, like survivors of domestic abuse, from being exposed to those who have threatened, coerced, and beaten us daily.”

“Pastor,” Connie called out. “Don’t forget what I told you.”

“Oh? Oh yes.” Pastor Johnson cleared his throat. “Tonight, I want you to welcome the newcomers and make them feel at home. Connie asked that I give a special welcome to Carl and Stephanie. Welcome to The Community family Carl and Stephanie.

“Now,” Pastor Johnson waved his hands to quiet the group. “We dedicate this barn to the glory of God for use in his kingdom here on earth. Amen. Let the music begin.”

The fiddlers began their hash calls. Clapping followed and dancing. As the tempo increased the dancers began to move to one another without pauses. The improvised patter calls challenged the dancers surprising them with unexpected choreography.

After a jig and a waltz, Carl and Stephanie went outside to get some air.

“What do you think Carl?” Stephanie asked.

“You know. No one said a word about COVID the whole night. I can breathe. I can finally breathe . . . Imagine . . . we don’t have to imagine. There are people in the world who are constantly at odds with us and our freedom. They would have us serve their god COVID.”

The full moon, now behind a grove of trees, cast long shadows on the field before them.

“C’mere Steph. Why do I feel like singing Somewhere from West Side Story?”

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Informed Dissent:

https://gab.com/ChrisLangan/posts/106886345347451986

Pfizer’s new ‘daily pill’ to fight Covid utilizes a protease inhibitor… Ivermectin is also a protease inhibitor… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Scanning & Transmission Electron Microscopy Reveals Graphene Oxide in CoV-19 Vaccines (drrobertyoung.com)

Telegram: Contact @nocovidvaccines

Nursing baby died with blood clots, inflamed arteries following mother’s Pfizer shot, VAERS report says – LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

As a doctor, here’s my message to anyone who thinks it’s OK to deny medical treatment to those unvaccinated against Covid — RT Op-ed

Illinois Implements Vaccine Passports, Mandates – The New American

Stop “Vaccine Passports” and Forced COVID-19 Vaccinations : The John Birch Society (jbs.org)

Elderly man dies with blood clots in abdomen after Covid-19 vaccine | Sharyl Attkisson

Right-Wing Street Artists Take Aim at ‘Vaccine Supremacist’ Gavin Newsom (Photos) (thegatewaypundit.com)

Huh?!

Vaccine Passports for Canada even if conservatives win… What the hell is going on! – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Tell your reps:

Please act to retain all current religious, philosophical, and medical exemptions for vaccinations — especially for COVID-19 — in our state. And whenever possible, please add to or expand the exemptions for vaccinations.

Also, please ensure that nobody is coerced into taking the vaccine through social/economic ostracization. This includes “vaccine passports” that some states, the federal government, and other world governments are implementing.

Victory Boyd on Instagram: “America from its inception was a dream. A dream of a place that champions equality, liberty and justice for ALL people. A dream of a place…”

Staff Sergeants File Class Action Suit Against COVID Mandate – UncoverDC

BREAKING: US Courts Website Publishes List of Vaccine Attorneys To Fight Dangerous Vaccines! – DAILY NEWS OF AMERICA (dailyusa24.com)

Biden Admin Preparing to Announce New COVID Restrictions For the Unvaccinated – Summit News

Aussie Public Health Chief Says COVID Contact Tracing is Part of “New World Order” – Summit News

There was no reduction in per-population daily mortality, hospital bed, ICU bed, or ventilator occupancy of COVID-19-positive patients attributable to the implementation of a mask-wearing mandate.

Analysis of the Effects of COVID-19 Mask Mandates on Hospital Resource Consumption and Mortality at the County Level

Biden’s CDC Tightened Mask Guidelines After Threats From Teachers Union (thegatewaypundit.com)

47 studies confirm ineffectiveness of masks for COVID and 32 more confirm their negative health effects – LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Georgia Bulldogs experiencing ‘massive Covid spike’… More than 90% of team is Vaccinated… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Mask defiance:

Disturbing video from Australia… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Study Finds Teenage Boys Six Times More Likely to Suffer Heart Problems From Vaccine Than be Hospitalized by COVID – Summit News

NURSE SOUNDS ALARM: Hospital Filling Up…”Vaccine Nightmare” – Populist Press 2021 ©

If you own a business with barely over 100 people and need to get under 100, fire the vaccinated.

After all, they can get a job anywhere.

Warning: It’s Not Going To Stop With Forced Vaccine – Here’s What’s Coming (rumble.com)

The New World Order:

“Bio Fascist coup.”

A BioFascist Coup Was Just Declared – Populist Press 2021 ©

Ivermectin:

Dr. Robert Malone – ‘Ivermectin works, I used it myself’ – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Exploring the binding efficacy of ivermectin against the key proteins of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis: an in silico approach

The Story of Ivermectin | StarCrestSoloist (gab.com)

The Story of Ivermectin – Proven effectiveness of a cheap off-patent drug and Its Suppression

https://tv.gab.com/channel/starcrest/view/the-story-of-ivermectin-613763ee3beab6d020fe7104

While Tokyo’s Medical Assoc. Chairman holds live press conference recommending Ivermectin to all doctors, for all Covid patients . . . Australia Bans Ivermectin… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Australia Bans Ivermectin… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Doublethink:

Sydney police handcuff unconscious 14 year-old boy for not wearing mask… Mother Screams In Pain! – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

The Arcade

“Mom, you know what Zoltar said?”

“Who’s Zoltar, Jimmy?”

“He’s the guy in the machine at the arcade.”

“You down there again? Didn’t I tell you and your friends to go play baseball. A little dirt and sweat is good for you.”

“Aw, Mom, we’re just hanging out, we ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong.”

“Maybe so, but I don’ like you hanging around those kinds of places.

“Zoltar said my financial outlook is excellent. What does outlook mean?”

“It means . . . it means what the future might look like.”

“That makes sense. Zoltar is a fortune teller. I guess he meant that my excellent outlook is an increase in my allowance. Right mom?”

“You wash the car and we’ll give you an extra dollar.”

“Great! Then I can get more outlooks from Zoltar.”

“You spend your allowance on Zoltar?

“It’s just a penny for him to tell me my outlook. He did tell me that I would be hungry in an hour and he was right.”

“Yeah, well I knew it too. Here’s your sandwich.”

“Mom, you remember the time when I surrendered?”

“What are you talking about, Jimmy?”

“You know . . . that Sunday night at church when they kept singing I Surrender All? After the tenth time I went up and surrendered. I figured they would keep singing until I did and I wanted to go home and see the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.”

“I remember the night you walked down the aisle.”

“Yeah, well, the day before Zoltar told me “All you need is love”. I guess he knew that I wanted to see the Beatles.”

“No, dear. Finish your lunch” . . .

*****

Jim Jr. started his internship at COVID Products in 2020.  He began as a salesman offering masks, cleansers, and social distance apps. After he met a sales goal of $200K in 2022, he was transferred to advertising. Six years later he became the science anchor of the 24/7 COVID Report. His mechanical engineering degree gave him the necessary credibility, he felt.

“Today’s COVID report is brought to you by Phantastic Pies. You have to eat them to believe them.”

Before his stint at 24/7 COVID, Jim Jr. worked at a local TV station. He came on with his COVID report after the weather and traffic reports.

 “The Psi COVID variant this week has a chance of being 80% doubly dangerous. Look at this map of the Chicago area.

“The green dots are those who have had their fifth booster shot. The blue dots are those who have only had four booster shots. But this mass of large red dots is the unvaccinated. Let’s zoom in on one using Channel Eight’s Heart Beat Tracker. Live video is being provided by a next-door neighbor.

“Folks, that is Mary Lou Stebbins in Hinsdale, Ill. Mary Lou has yet to be vaccinated. So, avoid 217 Burton St. and all contact with Mary Lou.”

At noon, Jim turned over the 24/7 COVID Report to his young intern Stephanie Lour. He then went home to his wife Ann Marie.

Ann Marie greeted him at the door with a masked kiss, replicating the 24/7 COVID Report promo performance. Ann Marie, a devoted wife, always hoped for an unmitigated kiss in broad daylight. But Jim Jr. made sure that nobody ever saw them kissing without the proper PPE – even at their wedding. The unmitigated kiss – a peck on the cheek – would occur after Jim Jr. had ingested four properly prepared Martinis and was on his way up to bed at 7 pm.

In the afternoons, between the door kiss and the Martini kiss, Jim would grab his properly prepared Martinis and head to the basement – the COVID Command Center, as he called it. He had Ann Marie bring his meals there. “My work is too important to fiddle around with my time. Millions of lives are at stake!”

That state of affairs is what Ann Marie confided to her friend Julie at Zims’ Wine Bar. Ann Marie was fairly sure that her husband did not participate in pornography. But Jim never confessed his love for her. As far as life and love go, she told Julie, the newly restored Zoltar was Jim’s center of attention. She often watched him as he put coins in and Zoltar fed him fortune cards.

The fortune telling machine had been father-to-son handed down. Zoltar was Jim Jr.’s inheritance after his father passed. Senior made sure it stayed in the family. Zoltar had been placed on the auction block when the arcade closed down. Jim Senior was there to outbid the rest.

*****

Julie, seeing Ann Marie so miserable, counseled her friend to leave to Jim. “What man loves a machine more than his wife?” But Ann Marie balked at leaving Jim Jr. She decided that she would change her husband’s preoccupation. She had a plan.

Ann Marie began to dress as a gypsy fortune teller. She had Jim Jr. sit down and she pretended to tell him his fortune. But Jim Jr. wasn’t interested. “I am a man of science”, he told her.

*****

One afternoon Jim Jr. ran up the basement stairs yelling “I’ve got it!” Ann Marie ended her phone call to Julie and said “What?”

“I will produce a vaccine that not only protects from the common cold coronavirus but also makes the recipient a valued customer at major stores, major everything!”

“And how are you gonna do that?” Ann Marie asked.

“Simple,” Jim Jr. responded. “You see my report on TV. There are devices that detect a person’s unique heartbeat. I will vaccinate people with my proprietary nano-particle that pulses with a unique code. I’ll call it . . . I’ll call it BlingBeat.

Ann Marie offered a “gimme a break” smile

“Zoltar gave me the idea.” Jim handed Ann Marie a card: A fool and his money are soon parted.

“You see”, Jim continued his sales pitch, “Subscriptions to BlingBeat will be renewed with each booster shot. There is a new booster shot for each COVID variant. We’re only at the Psi variant. There will be endless variants because pharmaceutical companies want endless profits. I am . . . I mean, we are . . .hooking our wagon to that gravy train.

“There will be an initial outlay of money – I’ll get a business loan – but I see a revenue stream that doesn’t end!” Imagine! For the price of Starbucks coffee for a year people will have a subscription to a second heartbeat that gets them into stores, sports events, theaters, the works!”

Jim Jr. began to pace back and forth and then stopped abruptly with a laugh. “When the CDC runs out of Greek letters, I’m guessing they’ll have to use male and female names like the weather folks do for tropical storms . . . With my 24/7 COVID Report, BlingBeat will have name brand recognition. People trust a science anchor.

Jim ordered another martini from Ann Marie and went back down to his Command Center. He had some phone calls to make.

*****

Weeks later, Jim Jr. came home as usual and headed to the basement with his martini. He fed a coin into Zoltar and received the following card: If at first you don’t succeed, take another stab at it.

Jim Jr. always felt that Zoltar always had the best fortunes just for him. It was in the family, after all. And this card insured that. Zoltar told him to keep trying.

Jim had asked Ann Marie to be the beta site for his BlingBeat. But she refused. “Try it on your intern, not me!”

But Jim Jr. was resolute. Ann Marie had to be the beta site. She would never take him to court. “She worships me, doesn’t she?”

So that night, at 3 am, Jim Jr. wakes up at the usual time to get ready and head off to the TV station. Before he gets out of the bed, though, he reaches under the bed and pulls out a syringe and a vial. He drew the vial’s content into the syringe. With a quick swipe of an alcohol swab, Jim jabbed Ann Marie in the arm.

“Ouch! What the  . . .?”

“What’s the matter honey? A bad dream?

“I just felt a sharp pain in my arm. Why do I smell alcohol?

“I spilled some martini last night.”

“That doesn’t smell like martini . . .can you get me a glass of water? My mouth is dry.”

“Yes. Don’t get up. Lay still. You must have been sleeping on your arm.”

*****

A few weeks later, Ann Marie went shopping for the week’s groceries at Bill’s Food Market. As she was walking in, the cart kid said “Hello Mrs. Jones.” That was the first odd thing she noticed. Why would that kid know my name?

She walked in and the store manger greeted her. “Good morning Mrs. Jones. Welcome to Bill’s Food Market.” That guy never said hello to me before.

She walked through the produce section and noticed blue lights beginning to blink on a small dispenser as she neared the bananas. A coupon popped out: Fifty cents off a pound Mrs. Jones.

She walked down another aisle. The same blinking blue lights greeted her as she approached other food items. As before, a coupon popped out of the dispenser with her name attached. It must be some new sales gimmick, she thought. But something strange was also happening.

As she walked down each aisle, folks would look at their smartphones. Then they would say “Good morning Mrs. Jones.” What the  . . .?

What Ann Marie didn’t know was that Jim Jr. had acquired a business partner. Zack created the BuyinaryBeat heartbeat scanner. (Zack wasn’t crazy about BlingBeat. So, the name was changed.)

Bill’s Food Market was the beta site for the BuyinaryBeat scanner. Jim Jr. told Zack that Ann Marie shopped there every week. Both Jim Jr. and Zack were pleased with the beta test results. Now production could start.

*****

Months later, the BuyinaryBeat scanner had been installed in a variety of stores and venues including sports stadiums, hospitals and even churches. The BuyinaryBeat serum was being injected into arm after arm. The persons receiving the vaccine were told that they were not only protected from the latest COVID variant but that they would now receive exclusive consumer privilege. And, they would not show up on the 24/7 COVID Report map.

*****

Ann Marie liked the attention she was getting at the drug store, the dress shop, Zim’s Wine Bar, and elsewhere. But she couldn’t figure out what had changed. She knew she didn’t have some aura about her that brought out the attention of others. Something had changed . . .She rubbed her itching arm.

*****

Jim and Zack’s business Buyinary BuyWays took off. Jim Jr. continued the 24/7 COVID Report while the business was growing. At one point he left the TV station and incorporated his COVID report into a 24/7 infomercial. With former intern Stephanie, he was hawking the benefits of the BuyinaryBeat serum.

After five years, the partners decided to go public. The IPO made them millionaires. The night of the offering, the two of them celebrated until two in the morning. Jim Jr.’s head was spinning as he came through the door of his house.  Ann Marie must be in bed. I’ll pour myself a martini and check in with Zoltar.

Jim Jr. half-hobbled down the basement stairs, spilling the martini. He took a penny out of his pants pocket and dropped it in the coin slot. Zoltar lit up and said, “Here you are, COVID Master.” A card popped out. Jim Jr. set the martini down and read it.

Your reality check is about to bounce.

“Huh? That’s not like you Zoltar.”

He put another penny in the coin slot. “Here you are, COVID Master.” Another card popped out.

You will soon have an out of money experience.

“C’mon Zoltar! Get with the program!” He put another penny in the coin slot. “Here you are, COVID Master.” But this time the machine did pop out a card.

“I’ll deal with you tomorrow.” With that he finished his martini and went up to bed.

Ann Marie was not in bed. Her clothes, her things, were gone.

*****

After the stock market closed the day of the IPO, Ann Marie, with Julie’s help, moved her things out of the house. She threw the PPE and their wedding picture into the trash. She went down to basement to gather up her laundry. As she walked by Zoltar, the machine pushed out a card: All’s well that ends well.

Ann Marie divorced Jim Jr. She received a substantial monetary settlement for her share of Buyinary BuyWays. Her attorney had told the judge that Ann Marie had been raped by the jab and that Jim had used her as a guinea pig. Jim Jr. was later brought up on charges of domestic abuse. “Other charges are pending”, said the DA.

Ann Marie went on to use the bulk of her divorce settlement money to produce an anti-BuyinaryBeat serum. Its effect was to null the nano-particle Jim Jr. had planted inside vaccines. She had been getting a lot of attention with the BuyinaryBeat vaccine her husband had pumped into her veins. But it wasn’t the attention she needed and wanted. Jim’s arcade life wasn’t for her.

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Informed Dissent:

The Vaccinated Are Worried and Scientists Don’t Have Answers (msn.com)

“Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.

Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infectio… : American Journal of Therapeutics (lww.com)

Are The Vaccines Even Legal? – (andmagazine.com)

Fauci — ‘Forget about your personal liberty’… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Five cases of Vaccine reactions, from wheelchair to death… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Mickleham quarantine camp construction under way, says Victorian government (brisbanetimes.com.au)

Dr. Naomi Wolf: “There will be chaos in the United States”; “How can you have an edict based on no law?”; “There’s a massive corruption of civil society . . . “:

Revolver Exclusive: Navy Commander Warns of National Security Threat from Mandatory Vaccination – Revolver

“I think what we said from the outset is this could become an annual inoculation much like the flu shot. It might be every other year.”

Experts: The COVID Emergency is Over – UncoverDC

ICU NURSE: “You’re being lied to about COVID.” (rumble.com)

Australian Government To Seize 24,000 Children, Vaccinate Them Without Parents Present In Massive Stadium – National File

“Eight COVID lies”

Former Pfizer VP Latest Message On COVID Vaccines – Everyone Must Listen!

https://tv.gab.com/channel/realalexjones/view/former-pfizer-vp-latest-message-on-611ae25b1bf68c993e8d07a9

Vaccine & Blood Analysis Under Microscope Presented By Independent Researches, Lawyers & Doctor (odysee.com)

Top doctor: Mass vaccination program for COVID will be ‘one of the most deadly’ in history – LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

“The world is gradually waking up to your absurd, arbitrary and fallacious approach in presenting concocted facts as ‘scientific approach.’ While the WHO flaunts itself like a ‘know it all,’ it is akin to the vain Emperor in new clothes while the entire world has realized by now, the Emperor has no clothes at all.”

Indian Bar Association sues WHO scientist over Ivermectin | Columnists | thedesertreview.com

The Message

In his current state, it might take years for Vic to recover his right mind. He’s been flaying around and mumbling the whole time in the back seat of my car. His mind, no longer aware of surroundings, seemed to be in a state of virtual reality. And that is the reason for the all-night drive.

I was told to not bring a phone or any electronic device with me. I was given a hand-drawn map with sketched landmarks to direct me once I left Highway 16.

Down the backroads, I questioned what I saw. Those Aspens by a fence – is that what’s shown here? Was that the rock formation I was supposed to turn at?  Where are the three lone towering Ponderosa Pines? Is that the field of wildflowers I drive alongside?

After two hours I found myself at a huge rock formation that jutted out northward per the “N” on my map. According to the sketch, an Indian would be there waiting for me. What happens now?

Out from behind a rock came the Indian. He came over to my car and looked inside. When he saw Vic, he shook his head. He looked at me, pointed to himself and said “Notah”. He asked me if I had any electronic devices. I assured him that I didn’t. He told me to follow his pickup truck.

After driving an hour or so, somewhere around Bighorn National Forest, we drove up to the off-the-grid Fire and Flame Human Refuge. Notah helped me walk Vic to the door of the lodge. A petite older woman came out and helped me walk Vic inside. I turned to thank Notah but he was gone.

Inside, there was pine wood everywhere. I felt I had returned to summer camp. A door swung open and the room filled with the aroma of baked corn bread . . . and chili?

With the woman’s help, I brought Vic into the Great Room. I settled him in an arm chair that faced outside. A field of wild flowers was in view. In the distance, fir tree-skirted mountains. Vic put out his hand and began twitching his thumb as if flicking a TV remote button.

There must have been twenty-five people in the Great Room. Catatonic people.

Sharon introduced herself. She was the one who had helped me with Vic. I learned that she managed the refuge. I asked about the people in the Great Room.

“Do you see that woman standing by the window?” Sharon pointed.

“Yes.”

“That is Marisa. She is not looking at the wilderness in front of her. She sees only her reflection in the glass. Up till now Marisa has spent most of her time taking selfies and posting them on social media.”

“What about that man who seems to be constantly scrolling with his finger?”

“Before Bill came here, he was constantly checking social media pages for updates. He developed the scrolling-finger habit as part of a social-validation feedback loop. Dopamine was released into his brain when someone liked or commented on something he posted. Right now, he’s in withdrawal from the social-validation feedback of dopamine.”

“What about that teenage girl over there? The one with the wide-eyed look?” I asked.

“Myra was brought here by her mother. She had isolated herself from her family. She spent hours of the day on social media. Myra has a fear of missing out. It is a common phenomenon for teens to want to be socially connected. Technology offers a non-stop social-validation feedback loop. A teenager, fearing the possibility of social alienation, goes online constantly for validation.

Myra developed a sleep disorder after staying up all night texting. Her school work suffered. She developed poor eating habits and gained weight. The negative effects of her social media interface made her depressed, angry and less social. Technology presents teenagers with a false sense of relational security while ignoring those in the same house.”

“Is that young boy here for the same reason?” I nodded my head in the boy’s direction.

“Yes, similar reasons. His father brought him here. John was online playing games for hours and hours. His father asked him to spend time with him outside – play catch, go fishing. But John refused. Like Myra’s social-validation obsession, when John didn’t play or interact with the games, he thought he was missing out. His father could see that John was missing out on life, so he brought him here.”

“What about that older couple sitting in the arm chairs?”

“They are Jim and Sally. Their close friends brought them here. They were very concerned for them. They told me that Jim and Sally would get up in the morning, turn on the TV and listen for the weather forecast. They would leave the TV on the rest of the day and sit and listen to the world’s take on things and the advertised solution: problem, problem, problem, cure; problem, problem, problem, cure; problem, cure; day and night.

By their friend’s account, Jim and Sally had become terrified, angry and even despairing by what they heard. Honestly, that’s what Noise does to people. C’mon. Let’s listen to them for a moment . . .”

“Jim, you are a racist.”

“We both are Sally. They said so.”

“They’re telling us that we could die from cancer or climate change or COVID or the guy in the White House if we don’t do something.”

“How about we just die, Sally, and be done with the whole business?”

“Now Jim. We should listen to them. They know better than us. They’ve told us so many times that we can’t trust our own thinking . . .”

“I am glad their friend brought them here,” Sharon said. “They needed relief from the Noise . . . At Fire and Flame, we don’t give people sedatives. We give them space to work out their salvation.”

Sharon then asked me why I brought Vic to Fire and Flame.

“Vic has been a friend of mine since high school. We hung around each other and kidded each other all the time. But then things changed when he got devices. He was no longer present with me or to anyone, really. It seemed to me and his other friends that Vic was using technology to avoid us. He talked incessantly about what this and that could do.

Vic’s other friends gave up on Vic. They had come to find out that Vic had spent large portions of his paycheck on new devices. He bragged about the new devices until one day he came to one of his friends and asked him for a loan. Vic wasn’t able to pay the mortgage. He had to borrow money. But that wasn’t the breaking point for Vic.

I heard from a friend that Vic wanted to join me at the Remnant camp to escape the COVIDians. Two people had come to his door and asked him for his Vax papers. Vic learned the reason they came to his door: they had been monitoring him through his devices. He didn’t have Vax papers because he refused to be vaccinated.

The two COVIDians declared Vic “unsafe’ and told him that he was banned from the Internet, email and online accounts. They took away his phone, laptop and internet connection. They wrote his name down on a ledger and said they would be back the next day.

I relayed back to Vic that he could come to the Remnant camp but he would have to go to Fire and Flame first.”

As I was talking to Sharon, Vic got out of his chair and began walking around the Great Room. He was again flaying his arms and mumbling to himself.

“When they first come here,” Sharon said, “they are agitated.” They haven’t been used to having their hands free. They are restless, hyperactive, and full of nervous energy. They cannot tolerate a sense of boredom and look for highly stimulating activity. They walk around and say and do things and are unaware of the effect they have on others. It will take time for Vic to become focused and to stay focused on reality.

“Fire and Flame . . .?”

“Fire and Flame is a portal to a world away from the constant pinging of digital devices. The Dark Forces of this world produce relentless Noise. It is meant to unsettle and distract you from The Message. Here, there is Signal not Noise.”

“Message? Signal?” I asked.

“You will find out tonight.” Sharon replied. “C’mon I’ve prepared a room for you. You can rest before dinner.”

****

A bell rang. We were summoned to dinner and I was again reminded of summer camp. I got up, splashed some water on my face, got dressed and headed down the hallway.

 The dining room was another pine-paneled Great Room: floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and a fireplace. Twenty-four pine-wood tables filled the room.

When everyone had gathered and were seated, Sharon asked “Evangelist Mark” to please ask the Lord’s blessing on the meal. Evangelist Mark stood up and prayed the blessing on the cornbread, chili, salad and the lemonade (what I used to call “bug juice” in my camp days). Odd how the past and present comingle and not just in my dreams.

I looked around the room. Six people sat at each table. And though so many filled the Great Room, there was little chatter. I saw many somber faces. Some stared off and ate, unaware that others were sitting across from them. Others fidgeted with their silverware and played with their food. A few were animated and tried talking to those around them but received no response.

Sharon sat down and gave a big sigh. She and her helpers had made sure everyone had food before sitting down. “How’s the food?”

“Delicious! The aromas had made me when I came in this morning,” I replied. “Is that Bach I hear in the background?

“Yes. Bach is the sound of redemption. It is particularly effective in helping to balance our brains between dissonance and consonance. The mind is then able to focus and attain deep concentration. This enables an inner quickening of the imagination, creativity, memory and intuition.”

Across the table from the two of us sat Joe. Sharon asked Joe to tell me why he had come to Fire and Flame.

“Well,” Joe began, “. . .  a 5G network. I was told that it was the bee’s knees. They said it was designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. With it, I was to be almost omniscient – aware of everyone and everything through a mobile ecosystem.

But using it day after day I found myself thinking about the device and what it wanted me to be aware of and wanted me to do next. I had become connected to an impersonal object that was directing my life with its AI. I was fooling myself – actually, I was subverting myself – pretending to be aware and to be in control of my life.

“That’s what brought me here. The addiction to being omniscient and to controlling things was intense. I spent most of my time working the device. I was doing apps, pushing buttons – nonstop! I finally asked myself “Why does my heart tell me to think like this? Inside my head . . . it was like John Cage music playing over and over.

One day I heard of Fire and Flame from a neighbor who was fleeing the COVIDian and Woke persecutions. He said that he was going to the Remnant camp. One night I left everything behind when his car showed up. He drove me here.”

Joe ended his account with a smile.

“Jennifer,” Sharon leaned over. “This afternoon Vic broke into my office. He was looking for a device to get on the internet. I have none. Then he started breaking into cars and trucks looking for a way to connect and found nothing. Then he ran into the woods. Notah found him and brought him back.”

“Vic may try again tonight. If he does Notah will follow him. No one is a prisoner here. We understand it’s a major struggle to be free from Noise. Notah will ask if he wants to return. If not, he will take Vic to a bus stop many miles away from here.

“We are a refuge for humans. We can’t help trans-humans, if that is what Vic wants. They are wired for Noise. We are to live as humans, we are to love. Trans-humans cannot live, cannot love. They only obey digital prompts and inputs.”

****

At twilight, the group from dinner came down to the fire pit. We sat down on the semi-circle of logs around the bonfire. The sun had gone down behind the horizon of mountains and no longer gilded their peaks.

Above us, in the blue-to-black July sky, a conjunction of terrestrial objects – Venus, Mars and the moon. They were easily visible. Venus shone brighter and slightly below the red planet. The familiar moon was making its circuit below.

Across that cosmic vista came a silhouette of a black whirring object. And then another. Sharon leaned over and told me “They are the regime’s Charon drones. They are keeping an eye on us. The regime and the people of the Noise are terrified of the people of the Signal”.

At that moment, a young boy, maybe ten or eleven years old, got up and stood next to the fire. He began . . .

Psalm 1

Happy are those
    who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
    or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law they meditate day and night.

They are like trees . . .

The boy recited the Psalm from memory. He sat down and then an older woman – a grandmother? – got up. She began to recite Psalm 61 from memory . . .

Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to you,
    when my heart is faint.

Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I;
for you are my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy . . .

When she had finished, a teenage girl stood up and recited Psalm 104 from memory . . .

 Bless the Lord, O my soul.
    O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
    wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,

    you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
    you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
    fire and flame your ministers . . .

When she had finished, she sat down. Each of them had recited their Psalm as a dramatic reading. The words came from their soul.

The drones, now four of them, blotted out starlight as they hovered and circled. I looked around. Was I the only one who noticed them?

Someone yelled “Evangelist Mark! Give us the Good News!” More joined the call.

A man, fiftyish, got up. He took off his glasses and handed them to Sharon. (I learned later that they were husband and wife.) He covered her with a blanket.

The night air had become chilly. More wood was thrown onto the bonfire. People huddled together under blankets. Faces became animated with the fluctuating glow of the roaring fire. All eyes were on Evangelist Mark.

This is where the good news starts – the good news of Jesus the Messiah, God’s son . . .

I recognized the words from the opening of The Gospel According to Mark.

“A shout goes up in the desert; make way for the Lord! Clear a straight path for him! . . .” . John the Baptizer appeared in the desert . . . “Someone a lot stronger than me is coming close behind” . . . This is how it happened . . .After John’s arrest, Jesus came in to Galilee, announcing God’s good news. “The time is fulfilled! God’s kingdom is arriving! Turn back and believe the good news!” . . .When the sun went down and evening came, they brought to Jesus everyone who was ill, all who were demon possessed . . .

Jesus went back to Capernaum . . . a crowd gathered with the result that people couldn’t even get near the door as he was telling them the message . . . A party arrived: four people carrying a paralyzed man, bringing him to Jesus. They couldn’t get through to him because of the crowd, so they opened up the roof above where he was . . . they used ropes to let down the stretcher the paralyzed man was lying on.  Jesus saw their faith and said to the paralyzed man, “Child, your sins are forgiven!” . . .

Evangelist Mark, from memory, continued his dramatic narration of the whole gospel to its conclusion . . .

When Jesus was raised, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first of all to Mary Magdalene . . . Later Jesus appeared to the eleven . . . he told them off for their unbelief and hardheartedness . . . “Go into all the world and announce the message to all creation” . . . When the Lord Jesus had spoken with them, he was taken up into heaven, and sat down at God’s right hand. They went out and announced the message everywhere. The Lord worked with them, validating their message by the signs that accompanied them.

For over an hour, the fireside group sat captivated by The Message. When Evangelist Mark sat down, someone in the group began singing. Then others joined:

If we die with him, we shall live with him;

If we endure patiently, we shall reign with him;

If we deny him, he will deny us:

If we are faithless, he remains faithful. For he cannot deny his own self.

While they sang, I looked for Vic. Then I saw him leaning against a tree, back from the group. Shadows came and went across him, as many began walking back to their rooms. Was that a sparkle of belief in his eyes? Was that the glistening of a tear?

Sharon and her husband Tom – “Evangelist Mark” – walked me back to the refuge rooms. I was tired. Tomorrow I would make the long drive back to the Remnant Camp and to people of the Signal there. Sharon told me that Notah would help me ditch the drones. He knew when they came and went. He could tell by their noise.

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2021, All Rights Reserved

*****

*****

War Room Episodes:

“Episode_1093 The people aren’t waiting politicians to save them anymore, and we discuss the effects of the vaccine.”
“Episode_10979 Our military is being weakened and Christian churches are under attack in Canada”

*****

Who is Dr. Malone?

*****

Informed Dissent:

Camilla Canepa was operated on by Gianluigi Zona, director of the neurosurgical and neuro-traumatological clinic of the San Martino hospital: “I had never seen a brain that was affected by such an extensive and severe thrombosis.”  . . .

The girl arrived in the emergency room in the Lavagna hospital on June 3, just a week after the AstraZeneca shot. She had complained of severe headaches.

Beautiful young Italian girl killed by Vaccine… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Aussie police execute door to door ‘Vaccine Education’… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Two studies: Covid-19 vaccines trigger Graves’ disease in some female health care workers | Sharyl Attkisson

Biden’s Door to Door Vaccine Sales Pitch Leaked: Tells ‘Ambassadors’ to Ignore ‘No Solicitation’ Signs and to Withhold Vaccine Side Effects (thegatewaypundit.com)

(UPDATED) Exclusive Summary: Covid-19 Vaccine Concerns | Sharyl Attkisson

‘Unvaccinated should not be allowed to work, have access to children’… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Macron — The un-Vaccinated officially become second class citizens… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

Natural infection vs vaccination: Which gives more protection? – Israel National News

45 Year Old John Hopkins Hospital Employee Dies After Reaction To Mandatory Covid Shot – The Empoweror

Vaccinated people now make up almost 47% of all new Covid cases, symptom-tracking app claims | Daily Mail Online

“This Is Worrying Me Quite A Bit”: mRNA Vaccine Inventor Shares Viral Thread Showing COVID Surge In Most-Vaxxed Countries | ZeroHedge

Archbishop Viganò: Vaccines made with fetal tissue are a ‘human sacrifice of innocent victims offered to Satan’ | Blogs | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Woman Has Both Legs and Hands Amputated After COVID Jab | Populist Press 2021 ©

Bombshell lawsuit: Gov’t whistleblower says coronavirus vaccine deaths at least 45,000 | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

47 studies confirm ineffectiveness of masks for Covid and 32 more confirm their negative health effects | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

*****

Anti-vaccine groups changing into ‘dance parties’ on Facebook to avoid detection (nbcnews.com)

How anti-vaccine groups are camouflaging themselves on Facebook (yahoo.com)

Added 7-27-21:

>>>>>>> You will want to listen to this video about the COVIDian vaccines before it is removed from YouTube:

“. . . So, it is absolutely inevitable that blood clots will form . . . permanently damaged lungs . . . “

No Cause for Alarm

The account of my neighbor Mr. Jones . . .

Just yesterday I saw a van pull into our apartment building parking lot. The van was white with big block letters on the side: COMMUNITY CARE. And beneath, Wellness Starts and Ends with You! Above the van was a swarm of police helicopters.

Five figures got out of the van. They were covered head to toe in chemical hazard PPE. Each carried a canister with a hose and nozzle attached. I thought What the heck is this? Are these guys the new pest control? There must be some huge cockroaches! I watched as they entered my building.

Through my door’s peephole I could see them knocking on the door of my neighbor’s first-floor apartment. The door opened and a hand came out. A bony finger pointed at my door. What is going on?

Then I heard a knock. I opened slightly and said “Can I help you?” The hazmat suit answered, “I am Inspector Lazarus, head of COMMUNITY CARE. I want to talk to you.” Hazmat guy then stuck his cannister into the door opening.

“What do you want?” I asked trying to push the cannister out the door with my foot.

“Didn’t you see the notice posted in the lobby?”

“What notice?”

One of the hazmat suits ripped a yellow paper from the bulletin board and handed it to Inspector Lazarus.

“The rule is simple”, Lazarus read, “get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.” He handed me the paper. “You sir, are out of compliance according to your neighbor! Step aside!”

Hazmat pushed the door open and sprayed me with some acrid smelling mist. Four hazmat suits followed him in.

I yelled “Stop!” but the four hazmat suits began spraying down my apartment. One in my bedroom, one in my bathroom, one in my kitchen and one in my living room. I headed toward the bedroom.

“Back off!” Inspector Lazarus grabbed my arm. “Let them do their job!”

“The job of what, may I ask?”

“Community care and wellness,” Inspector Lazarus replied. “Our records show that you have not been vaccinated.”

“There’s no law that says I have to.”

“Ah, but there are regulations. Public health must be regulated. And what will your neighbors think if you do not obey the simple rule, Mr. Jones?”

“My neighbors can think what they like.”

“Ah, but that’s where you are wrong, Mr. Jones. Community wellness includes peace of mind.”

“Then tell them that I . . . Look! I’m healthy! . . . I just had my yearly physical. I’m in perfect health! My blood pressure is low, my cholesterol is low, my . . .my doctor will prescribe Ivermectin if I have symptoms.”

“Is your doctor a Wellness doctor, Mr. Jones?” Lazarus tightened his grip on my arm.

“A what?” “What is that horrible stuff they’re spraying?

“Mr. Jones, this is a public health matter. Not just any doctor . . . It’s what you don’t know that will hurt you, Mr. Jones! That’s why the National Public Health Recovery & Rebuild Administration was created and given plenary power of public health. You must choose a doctor on their list. It’s that simple.”

“What’s simple is that I have a doctor. I’ve known him for years.”

“If your doctor passes the NPHRRA certification program then he can put a Wellness sign on his door and web page. If not, you will have to choose from the list. Here’s doctor Smoltz. See him this afternoon. I made an appointment for you.” Inspector Lazarus held up his phone and showed me the screen.

Right then a hazmat suit walked up with my laptop, phone and my handguns. Through the window I saw my car being towed away.

“Hey, you have no right!”

No cause for alarm, Mr. Jones. We are taking precautions as part of the NPHRRA proactive initiatives. We remove anything that may cause future harm. We are to Build Back Better, as they say.””

“You have no right! I’ll take you to court!”

“What are you going to do, Mr. Jones? Go all Supreme Court on me? Listen! The courts are comprised of cooperating judges. They are accountable to NPHRRA and not to the law and certainly not to that thing called The Constitution. What does it say about public health science? Nothing!”

“Get the hell out of my apartment!”

“Calm down Mr. Jones. There’s no cause for alarm. You’ll get your things back when you comply with the simple rule. Oh, and we have detained your sister until you do.”

“What the hell?! You can’t do that!”

“Public health is a matter of national security, Mr. Jones. How can your neighbor Mrs. Niblock feel secure if you are not complying with a simple rule?”

“She can mind her own business to feel secure!”

 Now, here’s what’s in store for you Mr. Jones. You are to be confined to your home until further notice. I will come back tomorrow. If you have not visited Dr. Smoltz and haven’t worn your mask you will be publicly censored by the community. Your name will appear in the press.”

“I don’t have a car now. How could I even get to this Dr. Smoltz?”

“Use this NPHRRA approved phone to call the NPHRRA approved Uber to get you to the appointment. Oh, and another thing. If you do not comply with the simple rule, your rent will increase and you will be forced to pay state and federal VAX taxes.”

“This is insane! This Is not fair!”

“Mr. Jones, please! The NPHRRA operates under the direction of the Center for Progress Control. NPHRRA’s mission is to enforce health equity —embed equity in practice, process, action, innovation, and organizational performance and outcomes; build alliances and share power via meaningful engagement; ensure equity in innovation for marginalized and minoritized people and communities; push upstream to address all determinants of health; and foster truth, reconciliation, racial healing, and transformation.

When you are vaccinated, Mr. Jones, you will be given a CPC ID card. The card will provide access to all benefits and functions approved by the NPHRRA. The card will remain valid as long as you follow CPC/NPHRRA guidelines. See. There is no cause for alarm. It’s that simple, Mr. Jones.”

With that, the hazmat suits left. I opened my windows. The sharp-tasting air made me sick. The whole business made me furious.

I had no way to contact anyone. When I finally decided to leave the apartment, I saw Mrs. Niblock wagging her finger at me through from her apartment window. I wanted to give her the finger but I thought better of myself. I walked over to my neighbor Jennifer and told her what had happened. We came up with a plan.

When COMMUNITY CARE came back the next day – hazmat suits and helicopters, I told Inspector Lazarus that I would see Dr. Smoltz that afternoon. I had made a new appointment. I told Lazarus that I was afraid the day before but now I was willing to comply with the simple rule. I even put a mask on to take out the garbage that morning so that Mrs. Niblock would see and report it to Lazarus.

Then, I pulled Lazarus aside and offered him $5000.00 dollars to have my sister released immediately. I showed him the money. He took it and called to have her released.

“Mr. Jones, I am happy to hear that you are willing to comply. As our motto states Wellness Starts and Ends with You! I didn’t want wellness to be the end of you.

Anyway, Mr. Jones, this isn’t about you or me. This is about salvation itself. Dr. Smoltz will report back to me. So, there should be no further cause for alarm.”

When the helicopters and the COMMUNITY CARE van left, that was the signal for Jennifer. She drove to a side street a block away from the apartment building. That morning she had packed up her things and put them in the car. I carried all the things I could and snuck out the patio door so as to be out of Mrs. Niblock’s sight. I placed my things in Jennifer’s car.

We left town that morning. On the way out we bought some burner phones. We drove by my sister’s house and gave one to her. We told her to leave town. Then we drove all day and night to a remote location. We joined the others, The Remnant, who had fled “community care”.

That location shall remain unnamed. Who knows who may be reading this?

©Jennifer Ann Johnson, Kingdom Venturers, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Added 7-7-2021:

Psaki announced on Monday that the administration has a plan to go “door-to-door” to convince people to get their vaccines.

Psaki Says Biden Will Use Door to Door Outreach to Get Americans Vaccinated

*****

Episode 993 – The Clever Lies of Covid-19 … Dr. Michael Yeadon Exposes Why

*****

Fauci Court:

Dr. Ezekial Emanuel tells Fauci — Covid seems ‘less harmful’ than the Flu… – CITIZEN FREE PRESS

SMOKING GUN: FAUCI LIED, MILLIONS DIED — Fauci Was Informed of Hydroxychloroquine Success in Early 2020 But Lied to Public Instead Despite the Science #FauciEmails (thegatewaypundit.com)

Fauci Privately Advised Obama Staffers to NOT Wear Masks: ‘Not Effective’. – The National Pulse

Critics slam Fauci after book announcement on ‘truth’ and ‘service,’ claiming he’s profiting off pandemic | Washington Examiner

Fauci Turns American Dating Apps Into Vaccine Tracking Devices – Revolver

ICAN Fauci Emails_2021_06_03 (mediafire.com)

COVID Court:

Israel reports link between rare cases of heart inflammation and COVID-19 vaccination in young men | Science | AAAS (sciencemag.org)

Vaccine researcher admits ‘big mistake,’ says spike protein is dangerous ‘toxin’ | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

COVID infection elicits long-lasting immunity, nullifying worldwide vaccine push: study | News | LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)

Fully vaccinated people who catch Covid variants may pass virus on, study finds (telegraph.co.uk)

Massive Undercounting of Potential Side Effects

Revolver Series, Part One: Exposing the Media’s Plot to Hide Record Vaccine Deaths and Deceive Americans – Revolver

FORMER VP OF PFIZER DR. MIKE YEADON SAYS VACCINES “FRIGHTENING” DON’T TAKE! COVID IS ABOUT CONTROL

The First Noël

The following took place during my thirteenth year . . .

A week before Christmas Day, a gaggle of us self-conscious teenagers loaded into three cars. We headed to Elgin State Hospital, formerly called the Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. Our church’s youth group leader had decided that, in the spirit of Christmas, his charges should bring hope and joy to the less fortunate.

Four of us sat bunched together in the back seat of one of the cars. We kidded each other about who was the crazier. We cackled and fidgeted and sniffed the mimeographed sheets of Christmas Carols and became giddier. None of us knew what to expect. “But for the grace of God” is all I heard the youth group leader say before I got in the car.

The high school senior driving our car asked us if we wanted to hear about “Elgin State.” We became quiet and ready to squeal like when the four of us sat at a campfire last summer. Jeff slowly spun out his words and waited for our reaction.

 “They say the place is . . . haunted … horrific experiments had been performed there . . . spirits of the unclaimed dead walk the cemetery grounds and, . . .  in the buildings, . . . the criminally insane live there.”

It didn’t take much. Jeff’s description of Elgin State and the winter wind that howled through Jeff’s rusted-out car gave us goose bumps. I wound and unwound the pretty purple printed sheets. Lise snapped her gum. Mary kicked the front seat and Joan kept biting her nails.

The three cars drove through the front entrance and down a long driveway towards the largest brick building I had ever seen. I suddenly felt out of place. I saw no signs of Christmas anywhere.

We parked along the front of the building. The youth group leader led our group of sixteen through the front door. He announced us at the front desk. Soon an older gentleman came down the stairs.

Dr. I-Forget-His-Name was bald and wore thick-rimmed glasses. In his white lab coat, he looked like the mad scientist I’d seen in a movie that I wasn’t supposed to watch but watched anyway at a friend’s house. Up close, I could see small blood vessels on his nose and cheeks. Whispering to Lise, I wondered if that is what happened when you work here. I tried not to stare when he escorted the group upstairs.

On the second floor he directed us to a double-door entrance. We walked through it. The room before us was bigger than any church sanctuary I had been in. There were large windows along the length of the room. They were foggy, providing a pale spectral light. None of the patients stood near them.

There were no curtains around the windows. There were no pictures on the walls, no paintings, and no Christmas tree or decorations. The furniture, wooden chairs and tables, was scattered around the room on the dull linoleum floor. The hall seemed soulless and indifferent toward the fifty gowned inmates within it.

The patient’s voices, moans, yelps, and shrieks sounded like they were coming out from a deep cave. Many sat staring off blankly. Some of them bobbed their head endlessly. Those who walked around seemed content to be walking in no specific direction. Our appearance at the double-door made no difference to them.

We gathered in two rows just inside the doorway and began signing Jingle Bells. Our voices reverberated and then seemed to go off somewhere. Our captive audience didn’t stir. We followed with Silent Night. There were a couple of moans of recognition. Then we sang The First Noël.

The First Noel the angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
In fields as they lay
In fields where they Lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s…

Out from the hallway behind us came a naked man. He began shouting and writhing right in front of us. One of the girls shrieked. The patients whooped and hollered.

Two men with white coats tried to grab the man. But he squirmed and threw them off again and again. He jumped and shouted and flung his arms right in front of us. He wanted to be right in front of us.

More white coats came to help. They surrounded the man and subdued him. He was dragged from the room.

It took a few minutes for our youth group leader to get us back to singing. When we did, we kept looking behind us to see what was next. But nothing happened after that.

When we finished singing our host escorted us down stairs. At the door, he thanked us for coming. On the way home we had a lot to talk about. Jeff said nothing.

That night I told my parents about my experience at Elgin State. Father said he was reminded of the Gadarene demoniac. Mom said “That poor man.”

Two weeks later, on New Year’s Eve, I was allowed to stay up late. I sat with my father as he watched the newsman recap what had happened in 1965. Something was said about demonstrations and Vietnam and The Great Society. But I sat there thinking about “that poor” wild “man” in Elgin State. He sure reacted to The First Noël.

The Antique Shop

 

On a street known as Artifact Row, in the historic district of Langford, D&D Antiques offered vintage collectibles. The owners, Dale and Doris, lived in the small apartment above the shop.

Per the rules of the town’s preservation committee, the shops and cafés of Artifact Row were required to maintain their 19th century façades. During the summer months, the lattice ironwork of the display windows and the frame of the double doors into D&Ds were coated with layers of black paint to keep them from oxidizing. Next to D&Ds, the Reitz Artifact Gallery, specializing in graphic arts, antiquarian maps and atlases, repainted its ironwork verdigris green and installed a new awning. On the other side of D&Ds, the wood framed windows and door of Dunwoody’s Furniture Restoration were repainted with a fresh coat of terra beige and brown.

Above D&D’s recessed doors were two transoms which, when lowered, gave the appearance with the doors of being the door’s black eyebrows. And above the transoms was a weathered green signboard with gold letters:

D&D Antiques

Things both Excellent and Rare

The shop’s windows displayed objects collected by Doris from estate sales. On exhibit, a menagerie of items passed down through generations of families including pottery, porcelains, vases, silver platters, a Tiffany lamp, jewelry, spelter candlesticks, figurines, watch fobs and watches, photographs and, postcards. A small banner with a gold star on a red and white field hung in the recessed window next to the door. Above it, a sign posting the shop’s hours. Beneath, a detachment of smartly uniformed nutcrackers that appeared to be standing guard at the door.

The shop now offered consignment, as Things both Excellent and Rare were no longer collected by Doris. A gaunt figure in her eighties, called a flower with a delicate stem by Dale, Doris could no longer attend estate sales. Her knees had become feeble, her gait wobbly, her strength gone. Dale noticed, too, that her mind had become wobbly. Doris no longer knew who he was. So, for a time, she remained with Dale in the shop.

During her days in the shop, Doris would sit listless in the spool-turned rocker. At times she would get up, hobble around and pick up pieces on display. She held them to her ear, as one would do with a sea shell at the beach. A dulcet smile would then appear on her face.

During fifty-five years of marriage, the two had worked hand in hand. Yet a time came to keep Doris upstairs. No longer active, Doris had grown weaker. Dale, also in his eighties, frail and hunched-over, could no longer help his wife up and down the apartment stairs. In the days that followed and at regular intervals, Dale would hang a “BACK IN TEN MINUTES” sign on his door. He would head up the shop’s adjoining stairs to their apartment to care for Doris, where she sat in her arm chair with a vacant stare.

On any given day, except on Mondays when the shop was closed, D&Ds was visited by women poring over each item and husbands who listened to Dale as he regaled them with his stories from his time in the Navy. The children who came along were directed to a corner of the store. There, Dale had set a small table, two chairs and a globe. On the table, Dale’s loose-leafed stamp albums. The children were enchanted by the colorful stamps Dale had collected from around the world. At Dale’s suggestion, they swirled the globe looking for each stamp’s country of origination.

 

It was now Sunday evening. The ageless sounding chimes of the grandfather clock and the sudden “koo-koo” of the Black Forest clock announced six-o’clock. It was time to close the shop. As was his habit, Dale placed the cash drawer and the antique jewelry in a safe. The coffee was shut off. The back door checked. The model train was shut off. The three weights of the grandfather clock were rehung. And, the two streetside lamps that shown down on the face of the shop were switched on.

After one last look around, Dale turned the door sign from “OPEN” TO “CLOSED” and stepped outside into stifling heat of the August night. As he turned the key in the lock, he noticed a thunderous commotion behind him. He looked around. Up and down the Row passersby stopped at window displays. Shoppers walked out of the closing shops. The tremendous clamor, clashes of curses and bellowing voices, seemed to come from the next street east. “Something is in the offing,” Dale thought. “There must be some confusion about the hour.” Tired, Dale trudged up the adjoining stairs.

 

11:10 and the shop was still.  The inconsonant tickticktick of three mantel clocks the only sound.

11:11. The grandfather clock began a sonorous toll. The cuckoo exited with loud rousing “koo-koos”. The conversation began again.

“Let us use our time wisely,” came the booming voice of the grandfather clock.

“Here one minute. Gone the next,” chirped the cuckoo.

“What? We sit here, day after day. Nothing changes,” moaned the mantel clock.

“I do have my ups and downs,” noted the barometer.

“It’s all the same,” sighed the depression glass.

“But we’re not the same,” countered the silver chalice. “Some of us have a higher station in life.”

“I was tops in my class,” said masthead light.

“But I summoned the attention of all,” said the ship’s bell.

“No. It was I,” said the bosun’s pipe.

“I held the compass,” said the binnacle proudly.

“But you are not me,” said the compass. “I gave directions.”

“I was the admiral’s go to,” said the brass ship’s wheel.

“You couldn’t go anywhere without me,” replied the rudder.

“You don’t know the time of day,” replied the ship’s clock.

“I’m getting sea sick,” growled the gyroscope.

“Boys. Boys. Don’t make waves,” admonished the sextant. “Know your place.”

“It’s all the same. Night after night.” groaned the glass.

“But we aren’t!” said the painting pointedly.

“We are!” declared the silverware.

“We aren’t”, squealed the Chantilly porcelain terrine.

“We are. We aren’t,” the rocker hemmed and hawed.

“Things are heating up again,” the fireplace poker jabbed. “Just the way I like it.”

“You’re always stirring things up,” jabbed the ivory letter opener.

“Can’t we all just get along,” the fine china clattered.

“Let’s have a party,” the silver platter prompted.

“Yes, let’s!” shouted the silverware.

“It’s all the same.”

“We’re not the same.”

“The same. Not the same. The same. Not the same,” choo-choo-ed the tinplate model train.

“At least I don’t go around in circles all day,” remarked the rubber stamp.

“No. You just sit there with ink on your face,” countered the train.

“Don’t rub it in,” the stamp came back.

“Now we’re getting somewhere!” pounced the Murano glass paperweight.

“Look who’s talking,” remarked the art nouveau hand mirror.

“It’s all the same.”

“We’re not the same.”

“We are. We aren’t.”

“The same, Not the same. The same. Not the same.”

“I could shed some light on this,” laughed the Tiffany lamp.

“You’re not plugged in,” the flat iron spoke frankly.

“And neither are you,” countered the candlestick holder.

“You can’t hold a candle to me,” bragged the wash basin

“Keep a lid on it,” the tea pot protested.

“I’m with her,” tittered the tea cup

“Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” snorted the spittoon.

“Have you no taste? I am fine china!”

“Have some decorum,” pleaded the painting.

 

Tickticktick Tickticktick Tickticktick.

 

“Bor…ring. I’ve more important things to do,” brayed the brass bugle.

“He’s always blowing his own horn,” a nutcracker noted.

“It’s all the same.”

“You need to change your worldview,” the globe giggled.

“Get a hobby,” snickered the stamp album.

“The same, Not the same. The same. Not the same.”

“Let’s change the subject,” broached the book. “I am a first edition.”

“But I was here first!” shouted the Louis the XVI chair.

“And consigned to the dust bin of history,” scoffed the newly arrived brooch.

“I did not know you had come, and I shall not miss you when you go away,” replied the chair.

“I have served wine to kings and queens,” said the goblet. “I deserve better company.”

Mais oui, bien sûr,“ came back the chair. “As do I.”

“Those two are broken records,” the gramophone pointed out.

“I am above all that,” said the annoyed candelabra. “I have looked down on royalty and heads of state.”

Not to be overlooked, the Victorian sewing table said proudly, “Not what I have but what I do is my kingdom.”

“Let’s face it. It’s all about me,” the cameo came back.

“You’re just another face in the crowd,” the mirror mocked.

“The lady picked me up. Held me to her ear.”

“And what did you tell her?” queried the quartz watch.

“If it’s true it’s not new.”

“Are you a philosopher now?” wondered the Wedgewood vase.

“Though Truth and Falsehood be Near twins, yet Truth a little elder is,” recited the limited-edition poetry book with a flourish.

“It’s all the same.”

“We’re not the same.”

“We are. We aren’t.”

“Well, you are all waiting,” remarked the rubber stamp.

“Waiting for what?” asked the tintype.

“Waiting to be taken to a home,” cooed the wood doll.

“Home is where the heart is,” replied the postcard.

“You’re just ephemera. Here today. Gone tomorrow,” tut-ted the dressing table.

“You have no utility,” snarked the silver platter.

“I’m a keepsake. A reminder of times past,” the postcard said proudly.

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now,” exhorted the jade Buddha.

“Right on!” shouted the mantel clock.

“Progress!” The cuckoo poked his head out.

“Revolution!” fired off the fireplace poker.

“Diversity!” yelled the stamp album.

“Equality!” exclaimed the stamps in unison.

“Solidarity!” cried the flat iron.

“Can’t we all get along?” pleaded the fine china. “We can all serve humanity.”

“Hear! Hear! Shouted the silverware.

“Keep it together,” begged the bookends.

“It’s all the same.”

“We’re not the same.”

“We are. We aren’t.”

 

Tickticktick Tickticktick Tickticktick.

 

2 AM. Grandfather tolled and the cuckoo called. A loud crash.

“What was that?” questioned the quilt.

“A torch,” said one of the nutcrackers.

“I’ve seen this before,” said the fireplace poker.

“What’s it for?” wondered the watch.

“A torch is for light,” said the candlestick holder.

“But why is it on the floor?” asked the Oriental rug anxiously.

“Perhaps it is to be sold,” speculated the rubber stamp.

“I’ve read about this sort of thing,” stated the first edition. “It doesn’t bode well.”

“Some say the world will end in fire … Some say in ice,” warned the poetry book.

“The fire is coming closer,” fretted the lute.

“Shouldn’t it be on a candleholder where it belongs,” asked the candlestick holder.

“Fire goes where it goes,” replied the fireplace poker.

“It’s going up my leg,” said the Louis the XVI chair.

“How does it feel Mr. High and Mighty?” asked the rubber stamp.

“It feels … ohhhhh …familiar, …! …. like searing passion and raging anger.” The chair tried to maintain composed, but, “… now, ow! Ow! OW! …je suis d’histoire!. Aurevoir à mes amis.” The chair toppled down.

“What shall we do?” roared the rocker engulfed in flames.

“Maybe the shopkeeper will come,” said the cameo.

“Bugle do something,” shouted a nutcracker, his ranks now diminished.

The bugle, overcome by smoke, sputtered and coughed, “splurrrrtttt ….cuh cuh ….cuh cuh …someone get me some AIRrrrrrr …!”

“If I only had water,” said the basin.

“If only someone had taken us home,” cried the postcard.

The mirror, enamored by its reflection, proudly stated, “Look at the light I am reflecting. The whole room is lit up.”

“Don’t you see what is happening?” rasped the rocker. “We are being consumed!”

“I’ve done my job,” replied the mirror.

“I want out!” cried the postcard, the flames edging up his sides.

“We’re all in this together,” wheezed the stamp album with its last breath. The conversation ended.

 

3 AM. There was no ageless sounding toll and no sudden “koo-koo”. The second story had collapsed.

 

 

 

 

© Jennifer A. Johnson, 2020, All Rights Reserved

(aka, Lena de Vries)

In My Element

 

How could I forget the passing of my father and mother? My father had become terribly sick. My mother cared for him day and night and soon became sick herself. I cared for both until they died days apart. How could I forget those days of loss and the burden put on me at that time? I am Martha and the oldest of three children.

As was our custom, the three of us – my brother Lazarus, my sister Mary and I – mourned for seven days. We did no work; we did no cleaning or cooking. Friends and relatives brought us food and sat with us and mourned with us as we sat barefoot on the floor. When that time was over, I felt isolated and overwhelmed. I felt the weight of the world suddenly on my shoulders. I was only 13 years old.

Before all this happened, I felt carefree. Life was an uncomplicated joy. When our family went to the synagogue, mother, Mary, and I would sit with the women. Father and Lazarus would sit with the men. Everything was as it should be. We were together in our element. But since, the remaining three of us have felt out of place, as if we were illegitimate children. It didn’t help that older women whispered between themselves when they saw us.

And, celebrating Passover was not the same without father and mother. Father would say, “Mary, ask the question”. Mary would respond “Why is this night different from all the other nights?” Then, we each had to give our answer as she asked it four times. I miss them most during these times.

Without father I felt cut off from the community and the events of the day. Father would come home and tell us all that was going on as we ate our evening meal. In his circle of friends there was much talk of the Romans and their taxes and about Caesar’s image on the denarius. (Father told us that he paid the temple tax in Tyrian shekels because those coins didn’t contain any earthly ruler’s image. This meant he had to deal with greedy money changers.)

Father became especially animated when he talked of a Messiah, one anointed by God who would smash the enemies of God and reign over the earth. Everyone he spoke with thought his appearing was imminent. When father talked about the Messiah he would recite the synagogue reading of the prophet Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

 

As the oldest I took charge of caring for my younger brother and sister. Who else would do this? I fed them, cleaned their clothes and taught them the ways of our people as I had been taught by father and mother. Thankfully, father left his affairs in good order. We lacked for nothing and lived in a spacious home in Bethany.

At our home I tried to maintain order, as my mother had done. She watched over the affairs of the household and did not eat the bread of idleness. She was a woman of noble character and I wanted to be like her. So, I did what was needed.

As I busied myself at home, Lazarus and Mary would go to the marketplace to buy food for our daily meal – fish, vegetables, fresh herbs and the like. At the market they also gathered up the recent gossip and news from travelers about the events of the day. One day it happened that they came home and could talk of nothing else except Jesus.

Mary couldn’t contain herself. She swirled as she spoke in her lilting voice: “He healed … a man … of a terrible skin disease! He healed … a Centurion’s … servant! He raised … a widow’s son … from the dead! Unclean spirits … are cast out! The daughter of Jairus … the ruler of the synagogue … healed! A woman … sick for twelve years … healed! A lame man … made to walk…on the Sabbath! Jesus fed thousands … with a few … fishes and loaves! A storm … was calmed … on the sea of Galilee … “

As Mary spoke, Lazarus paced back and forth. When he finally stopped, he said that Jesus had been in the synagogue in Nazareth … that he had been handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah … that he had read the same words that father recited to us so often!

“His words are the words of life!” Mary exclaimed half-twirl. Lazarus wondered out loud: “Could this be the Messiah that father talked about?”

They both tugged on me. “Come and hear what people are saying!” But I had to remind them of the hour.

“It is almost sundown and the beginning of the Sabbath. We must prepare for this. Help me do this. Mary, sweep the house. Lazarus, take these fish bones out to the refuse pile.” After the sabbath, I told them, we will go and hear what is being said about him.

 

 

Soon after, it happened that Jesus came to where we were. He arrived with twelve men who followed him intently and some seventy others. The three of us overheard many of their conversations as they gathered in our village. There was excited talk of Jesus being the long-awaited Messiah. “But what good is a dead Messiah?”, was a response we heard over and over. Many were questioning the direction Jesus was taking – going up to Jerusalem. The rumors were that the authorities there were wanting to do away with him.

The disciples discussed and puzzled over what Jesus had said when they were alone: “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life”. “What could this possible mean?” they asked each other, “Why must he be killed? And “Isn’t the resurrection on the last day?”

Several spoke of Jesus sending them out in his name. They had the authority to cast out unclean spirits in his name! They were sent to proclaim the kingdom of God. There were villages where they were welcomed and were given food and drink. And there were places where they were not welcomed. In response to these places they wiped that town’s dust from their feet and said “Gods’ kingdom has come close to you! It will be more tolerable for Sodom than this town”.

When I heard this, I immediately welcomed the Master and his followers – all of them – to our home. Who else could do this with all of these? And, of course, the house was clean and empty and ready for guests.

The courtyards were soon overflowing – men gathered on the upper courtyard and women gathered on the lower courtyard. I loved the commotion after so many quiet days – days since father and mother passed away. Like my mother, who had received and served many guests, I was in my element. I took charge.

I sent Mary and Lazarus to the market for cured fish, cumin and coriander, vegetables, figs, grapes and almonds. With seventy plus mouths to feed I needed plenty of provisions and plenty of help.

While they were gone I set about baking bread on the hearth, making lentil stew, and roasting a goat on a spit. I went about offering my guests wine, water and goat’s milk to drink. After a time, Mary and Lazarus came back with everything I asked. They said that the whole town was outside waiting for Jesus and they gave us what we needed!

And Jesus was in my home at the center of a group of men. I set down bowls of figs, dates and almonds before them where they sat and talked. At this point, I was coming and going, from kitchen to room to kitchen to courtyard to kitchen. With so many, there was such a din. But I did hear one ask Jesus to tell them a story.

Jesus affirmed that he would. “Hush!” rippled through the gathering. The courtyards grew quiet. Lifting the sound of his voice so that many could hear, he began:

“Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

While Jesus spoke, I went back to cooking and preparing and wondering what happened to Mary. She was not helping me feed all these people. I needed her help. I was shorthanded and getting more flustered by the minute.

I returned the room where Jesus was with more bread and lentil stew. And, there she was! I was shocked! Not only was Mary sitting around distracted from her duties, but she was sitting with the men …and right at Jesus’ feet! O, the impudence!

Right then and there I wanted to say, “Mary, that is not your place. Come and help me.” But I had a better idea – invoke someone with authority to deal with her. There is someone in this room that she will listen to and who will sympathize with me. He will put her in her place. I stood before Jesus.

“Master, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work all by myself? Tell her to give me a hand!”

Jesus looked at me and must have seen the distressed look on my face. Certainly, I thought, he must know all that us women do, especially when we are hosting. He has a mother.

“Martha, Martha, you are fretting and fussing about so many things. Only one thing matters. Mary has chosen the best part, and it’s not going to be taken away from her.”

Well, that wasn’t the response I was expecting. I stood there looking at him and then at Mary who hadn’t moved and then at a room full of faces. Was the kingdom of God staring back at me waiting for my reaction? There was nothing left for me to do but to sit down, eat and join the conversation.

 

 

In the days following, Lazarus and Mary invited many into our home. I’ve hosted hundreds of people! Those who came were eager to hear about Jesus. I fed them. I sat with them. And, I taught them – men and women alike – about the words and ways of Jesus. I serve the kingdom of God and that is all that matters. I wish father and mother were here to see me in my element.

 

 

 

Adapted from the Gospel According to Luke, chapter 10

Same Road. New Vista.

 

What’s that you say? You’ve just arrived from Cyprus and you are new to the area? And, you’ve heard some incredible things? You want me to tell you all that’s happened? Come in for some water and …some bread.

Where should I begin, stranger? There is so much that has happened the last three days – the last three years, in fact! And long before now! Since you are a visitor from Cyprus, I will start with some necessary background so you will understand why my husband and I are so giddy.

My husband Cleopas and I – I am Mary – settled many years ago in this fertile valley below Jerusalem This area is known as Emmaus. We call this place Motza. Our village is about 30 stadia from our beloved Jerusalem.

As you have seen, it is a well-watered area with rich soil and an abundance of willow trees. During the Feast of Tabernacles celebration many come to our valley and gather willow branches. They take the willow branches and stand them up on the sides of the altar with their tops bowed over the altar.

Our valley has many springs watering it. Our people come down to one of Motza’s springs to get water for baking their matzo for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

I’m sure you noticed the Roman Centurions stationed here. My husband says it is a strategic position for them as they can protect the ascent to Jerusalem on the road leading from Jaffa. And, it is strategic in the ways I know of. Cleopas has overheard some of them saying that they would like to retire here because of the many springs and because north of our village the valley widens offering them plenty of room for settlement and for growing food.

My husband and I are simple farmers. But life for us and our people has not been so simple. Many of us have long desired to be freed from the rule of those who do not worship the One true God. When the Babylonians overtook Jerusalem and carried our people away into exile it was the Isaiah the prophet who spoke for us …

O Lord our God,

other lords besides you have ruled over us

but we acknowledge your name alone.

Now, we are back in our land and still the pagans lord over us. So, we wondered: Would our God act again to bring us out of this exile as he took us out of Egypt? And, when will God resurrect Israel and restore her as a nation? When will the messiah, the Anointed One and Son of the Most High from the line of David, restore the house of David? When, when, when …when would God redeem his people and set up his everlasting kingdom on earth?

On many Sabbaths, as we gather in the synagogue, words from the Torah are read. And then the words of the prophets – the haftarah. We all felt the hopelessness and despair in the words of the prophet Ezekiel: “our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.” Our leader would then pray these words:

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
 You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

 

Yes, there were times of renewing hope and rejoicing. This past fall my husband and I and pilgrims from Cyrpus and from faraway lands went up to Jerusalem for the feast of the tabernacle. We carried with us willow branches and olive branches to build to sukkah – our temporary booths. When we all gathered together, we shouted praises to God, sang the songs of Aliyah and waved our fragrant lulavs – our willow branches and palm fronds – before the Lord in a spirit of thankfulness.

After the feast, we walked home with the pilgrims on the Emmaus road, the same road that brought you here. Our hearts were burning with expectation as to what God would do. There was much animated discussion about the events of those seven days. And, it all centered on Jesus. You must know about him, don’t you? How can anyone not know?

That day as we walked along we talked about his feeding the five thousand by the shore of Galilee. We talked about our seeing him healing the blind and the lame. And, Lazarus had been raised from the dead! We marveled that demons were being cast out and at Jesus’ authority over them. And, his words! No one ever spoke like he did about the Moses and the prophets. We discussed how our religious authorities despised him and wanted to do away with him. This made us all fearful, as it would negatively affect our synagogues. Yet, they each said that many were believing in him as the one who was to come.

But Miriam told the group that that even his brothers did not believe in him. She learned this from a young doctor named Luke, whom she met at the feast. He told her that Jesus’ brothers wanted Jesus to show himself publicly so that he could become well-known. “Show yourself to the world!” they said to him. They wanted to put Jesus in a situation which would make him prove he is the Messiah. But Jesus told them “My time is not yet. The world can’t hate you, but it hates me, because I am giving evidence against it, showing that its works are evil”. He told them to go up to the feast. Miriam said that Jesus went up later in secret and now we know why. There was a considerable dispute in the crowds. Some said “He’s a good man and others “He’s deceiving the people!” There were those who hated him and wanted to do away with him.

Ruth told us about the twelve-year old Jesus. His family had gone up to Jerusalem for Passover. When they left to return to Galilee with a caravan of friends, they had traveled a day’s journey before realizing that Jesus wasn’t with the group. He had vanished! So, they went back up to Jerusalem and searched for him for three days. They couldn’t find him anywhere. When they finally did put their eyes on him, he was sitting with the teachers of the law. He was listening to them and asking questions. Those listening to him were amazed at his answers to their questions. But, Mary was neither amazed or happy. She scolded him for disappearing. “Child”, she said to him, “why have done this to your father and me? We have been frantically searching for you”. Jesus told his mother, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I would have to be getting involved with my father’s work?” They didn’t understand a word of what he was saying. Wasn’t his father a carpenter?

Oy, there is so much to tell. I will focus on the last few days and on what happened to Cleopas and me this afternoon. What happened the last few days in Jerusalem we learned from the Jesus’ disciples as Cleopas and I were in Jerusalem for Passover. I can tell you that it was a time of weeping and anguish.

As you may have heard, on the night of Passover Jesus was captured by the authorities – ours and Roman. Though he had done nothing wrong he was sentenced to death on a Roman cross. Our authorities pushed for this, shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea and then released by Pilate to the angry crowd. Jesus was crucified like a common criminal. When we learned of this our hearts were broken, our hopes were dashed. “What good is a dead messiah we asked each other? We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” God be praised! There is more to tell you!

We were in Jerusalem this morning. We heard many, many accounts and rumors of visions and of Jesus’ tomb being empty. The disciples were at a loss as what to make of it all. Peter had gone off to see for himself and confirmed that the tomb was indeed empty. But he was as perplexed as the rest of us. We waited for while longer to see what might come of it all and then we decided to head home. Now, this is the part I’ve been waiting to tell you… I can barely …

Cleopas and I headed home to our village. Along the way we discussed all that had happened that morning. We argued, too, about what it meant. As we walked a stranger approached us and began walking with us. He was not at all familiar to us but he must have overheard us. He started the conversation:

Rowan LeCompte and Irene Matz LeCompte, “Third Station of the Resurrection: The Walk to Emmaus” (detail), 1970. Mosaic, Resurrection Chapel, National Cathedral, Washington, DC. Photo: Victoria Emily Jones.

“You’re obviously having a very important discussion on your walk. What’s it all about?”

We stopped walking and turned to him. He must have seen that we were both downcast. Cleopas answered the stranger. “You must be the only person around Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s been going on there the last few days.”

“What things?” he asked.

“To do with Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet. He acted with power and he spoke with power, before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was going to redeem Israel!

And now, what with all this, it’s the third day since it happened. But some women from our group have astonished us. They went to his tomb very early this morning, and didn’t find his body. They came back saying they’d seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Some of the folk with us went off to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”

“You are so senseless! So slow in your hearts to believe all the things the prophets said to you! Don’t you see? This is what had to happen: the Messiah had to suffer, and then come into his glory!”

At this point, we were quite perplexed. Who is this stranger and why is taking this so personally? We were both taken aback by the zeal and authority with which the stranger spoke. We searched his face for answers to what we didn’t recognize in all of the Sabbath words. He began walking and we followed.

We listened to the stranger explain Moses and the prophets and all of Scripture in terms of the One who was to come and ransom Israel and bring her and the whole world out of exile. He told us …

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

He talked about a kingdom on earth and about creation and new creation. As he spoke, everything we had been taught began to look different. Everything was coming into focus and the focal point was Jesus. Everything was becoming clear except for the stranger. He remained an enigma.

We reached the intersection to our village. We turned down our road. The stranger kept walking down the Emmaus road. We called after him urging him to stay with us. He kept walking. Cleopas finally ran up to him and pleaded with him to stay with us. “Sir”, he said, “the day is almost over. Stay with us.” The stranger agreed to come with us.

We invited him in and gave him a bowl of water and a towel to wash his hands and feet. We gave him water to drink. We sat down to a small meal. The stranger took the bread up into his hands and prayed, giving thanks for the meal. He then broke the bread and gave it to us. It was then …it was then …it was then that we were shocked beyond belief! Our jaws dropped and we looked at each other with wide open eyes. Cleopas and I saw that the stranger was Jesus, the resurrected Jesus! And, as soon as we saw him, he vanished from our sight! Poof!

We were speechless. The Anointed One and Son of the Most High was walking with us and talking with us and sitting down to eat with us! Everything we hoped for had come true in our sight, as Anna the prophetess foretold and Simeon prophesied! … Our eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people!

Now, our new friend, Cleopas and I have to return to Jerusalem to tell our brothers and sisters all that has happened this afternoon. We must break bread with them. Come with us and you will see him, too!

 

As we walked the 30 stadia back up to Jerusalem, Cleopas and I kept pinching each other. We walked and danced and walked and ran and clapped. We kept asking each other “Do you remember how our hearts were burning inside us, as he talked to us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us? Cleopas, in his booming voice and with a smile on his face, kept repeating “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave” and the words our Sabbath leader prayed:

Why are you cast down, O my soul

And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him.

We both shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

 

The Cypriot, not sure what to make of all this, watched us from a distance. There was an amused and perplexed look on his face.

 

 

 

 

Adapted from the Gospel according to Luke (2:41-50)

 

The Letters

 

September, 2019

My Dear Agnus,

I may be among the last of those who write letters. Handwriting is personal and so I hope my words will be received not as the words of a deacon, but as your brother.

The last time I saw you Agnus, at the funeral for Nicholas, I perceived bitterness behind your grief as we spoke that day. You asked “Where is God in all of this?”

The tragedy that took your son was compounded by his claiming to be an atheist before his death. Together, these events must have caused you considerable anguish.

What succor can any observer give to the one who has suffered such a loss and heartbreak? What comparison of those who have also suffered loss can one make to lessen your grief when your sorrow and pain are profoundly yours, and yours alone? And, imagine, what support a spouse gives to her husband who has suffered profound losses when she says to him that he is better off dead?

Job’s wife, knowing where God ‘was’ in all that had happened, ‘comforted’ her boil-encrusted ash heap-seated husband with “Curse God and die!” In effect she said “Why maintain your notions of God and your devotion to Him when He does this to you?”

Job, also knowing where God ‘was’ in all that he suffered, responded to the “foolish” words with his own reckoning of the situation: “Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?” I wonder at the reckoning of Job, after suffering devasting losses: “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job wasn’t putting a positive spin on his situation. Rather, he was letting God be God.

And what of value are clichés like “time heals all wounds”? The wounds may heal, but the scars remain, as they do for our Lord and Savior. Pain, loss and suffering make their marks, as you well know.

As I write this I have before me the photograph of you and Nicholas at his fourteenth birthday. What joy and promise I see in both of your eyes. How will you remember him on his eighteenth birthday this Saturday?

Do you blame yourself for Nicholas saying he became an atheist? Don’t. I have mentored many such young men. Approaching adulthood, they are dynamic. They believe they know all they need to know and what they don’t know you can’t tell them. They begin to reject familial authority and the fixed rules and identity imposed on them. They will chose a path opposite of what they know. When they receive a driver’s license or go off to college, they believe they can drive off without limits.

Your Nicholas didn’t have time to harden his heart against God. Had he gone on to the university he may have begun to harden his heart, as immature Christian faith is often weaned on the religion of ideology.

The picture I have in my mind as I mentor these young men: they are like the lost wandering sheep that the Shepherd goes looking for. You committed Nicholas to the Good Shepherd as an infant. When he declared himself to be an atheist, the Good Shepherd went looking for him asking “Where are you Nicholas?” The Good Shepherd did not give up on him.

Most likely Nicholas, not yet understanding the nature of God, saw something in the nature of life. The world offers many shiny objects to lure a young man away from the fold.

Be assured, Agnus, that you are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Help me to see through your eyes.

Love,

Tom

 

September 2019

Dear Tom,

Forgive my email reply. My stationery, which I used to thank those who gave flowers in remembrance of Nicholas, has run out except for a mismatched envelope.

Thank you for writing. This past year have been a blur. The loss of my only child and the loss of my marriage the year before has drained life out of me and filled me with wormwood and gall. That is what my new friend Ann calls it.

I saw Nicholas change after the divorce. He became moody and distant. It didn’t help that Bill and I often fought the months before we separated. I was crushed when Nicholas asked both of us “Where is God in all of this?”

I will remember Nick’s birthday with a few friends. They are folk from the church I now attend. They are giving me a memorial tree to plant in my yard.

Agnus

 

October, 2019

Dear Agnus,

A memorial tree is a symbolic and an enduring way to remember Nicholas. What kind of tree did you plant?

You mentioned in your last email that Nicholas was affected by what was going on in his homelife. Changing aspects at home would intensify the growing dynamics in his young life. It would spur him to look elsewhere for greener pastures. But the Good Shepherd knows his sheep and cares for them wherever they run off to.

All that has happened has changed you, as well. Our sister tells me that you are now attending a Universalist Church. This concerns me, as I know of their pluralist beliefs.

How is your health? I worry about you.

Love,

Tom

 

October, 2019

Dear Tom,

I planted a redbud tree in my front yard. I can see it from my chair by the window. My friends from church helped me plant it. They say it will produce rose-colored flowers.

You mentioned the church I now attend. At the church I attended for many years, the one where Nicholas was baptized as an infant, after the divorce no ever one ever invited Nicholas and me over for a meal. I felt judged, unclean and worthless because of a failed marriage. I felt isolated, like I didn’t exist. I felt like a leper.

There was one old woman at that church, I won’t mention her name, who rankled me. She had the gall to imply that what happened to Nicholas was a judgment for my divorce. “These things happen for a reason” is what she said. Why on God’s green earth would someone say this? At that point I had had enough of that can of wormwood. I wasn’t about to lose my sanity and so I looked elsewhere.

Nicholas refused to go to church. He was spending time with his father who also didn’t attend church. Bill said that he has more fellowship on a golf course on Sunday mornings than in church. I don’t even know what fellowship means at this point. My old church had become a valued-members only country club of sorts.

I met the folks from the new church at a rummage sale. They invited me over for coffee. So, I took my baggage and started going to their church.

My health? I don’t sleep. I wake up from dreams so real I begin to cry. I see the old woman and Nicholas standing at the end of my bed. They are turned away and Bill is walking away.

Food and a glass of wine and a few new friends are my only comforts.

Agnus

 

November, 2019

Dear Agnus,

I understand your reaction and your desire to walk away. That woman had no business saying those things. The church, where the lost and lonely and broken should find hope and fellowship and healing, is often the place where the most rejection and hurt is incurred. There are, as you may have encountered, broken people who believe they know the mind of God and can diagnose other’s lives through their own distorted lens. I am reminded of Job’s friends and their counsel.

Now, it may be that this woman had also experienced loss or hardship or heartache and assumed that God was chastening her and that became her frame of reference to project onto others. It may be that, like many in the church, she gets involved with people only viscerally and never enters into a deeper relationship with them. There are those who are not solicitous about a person’s spiritual and emotional well-being as it would involve having to get involved. I don’t want to project any of this onto her or impugn her character, as I only know of her. I don’t know her. One cannot know the mind or intentions of another or the mind of Christ, for that matter, unless they are intimately acquainted with the person. Still, that woman had no business saying those things.

I think many see the church not as a Mash unit where the wounded are cared for and nursed back to wholeness. Rather, they see it as a soapbox for their views. Years ago I left a church where the congregation voted on church matters. That was a nightmare. Many who voted had already converted their political commitments into moral principles. As such, they had become conduits of the world and not of the Holy Spirit.

My main concern is you. How are you holding up? I am glad you found some folks who invited you in. I hope this letter finds you well and in better spirits.

Love,

Tom

 

November 2019

Tom,

I received your letter. The church isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and neither am I for that matter. Maybe the old woman just woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day. I know I did.

These days all my focus has narrowed to getting by day to day. I try to make sense of it all. It seems life is one of those patternless crossword puzzles in the newspaper. There are clues and no structure or a place to start. There are answers that connect at one point but after I work on it the puzzle ends up being a disconnected mismatched jumble. And the solution is a Want Ad.

Now that Christmas is approaching and I will be without Nick, I have a question for you Deacon. Why would God send his son into the world when he knew that his son would brutally die? That is a world of hurt that I know all too well. Why all the suffering? What does it accomplish?

I may get around to buying stationery someday. Right now, email is what I can handle.

Agnus

 

November 2019

Dear Agnus,

I can relate to the crossword puzzle example you gave. More than once I have a puzzle almost completed but there are a few clues that confound me. I have to search to find the word suggested.

You ask a deep theological question that is much like the patternless puzzle. Both begin on a template as a mystery that bids the partaker to search for answers, as you are doing. Mysteries cannot and should not be assessed on their face and be rejected outright as too difficult or pointless.

I have long wondered why Jesus didn’t just come down to earth and feed everyone and heal everyone and keep people from suffering and death. Why did he have to suffer to make things right for the world and then allow suffering to continue?

I have been reading Russian authors for a while now – Chekov, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Solzhenitsyn. What I like about these Russian authors is that they were not afraid to pose deep questions in their works. The things of the spirit were of great importance to them. Their writings depict the torment of the Russian soul especially as it is affected by suffering and loss and evil.

My favorite is Chekov. His writings depict the prosaic side of Russian life and the hopelessness pervasive in the lives of his characters. His stories are not of the Hallmark/Disney sentimentalist twaddle so popular today. He writes the about the way life is without moralizing.

Here, as an example of their writings, I will quote Ivan, one of the brothers in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov:

“And if the suffering of children goes to make up the sum of suffering needed to buy truth, then I assert beforehand that the whole of truth is not worth such a price.” (5.4.21)

Ivan Karamazov, a deep thinker, poses suffering as a theological problem: if sweet innocent children suffer, how can there be a just God? With this conundrum he reveals what is behind Russian nihilism and atheism he sees all around him – sentimentality and a false sense of sympathy for mankind.

The Russian nihilists and atheists he speaks of see children suffering, so they assume that if there is a God that he is unjust and not worth their time. They walk away from God bearing a hatred towards Him and his divine purpose for life. They take on a false moralism which denies all values including the sacred. They will hold an abstracted God accountable but not themselves. They will not stomach the tears of children nor will they stomach the sacrifice required of them to alleviate the tears in this world. In fact, as history shows, they go on to sanction Progressivist revolutions that create untold sufferings and tears.

Have I answered your questions? No. Not yet. I am relating that the patternless puzzle, the mystery, has troubled mankind since the days of Job. The Psalmists and the wisdom literature authors in Scripture reflect on the meaning of life amidst suffering and hardship and loss. These writings offer clues that suffering can be redemptive as they turn to God for healing and justice instead of indicting him. Maybe the old woman spoke from this perspective.

Each individual puzzle, yours included, can be redemptive as one seeks the Source for answers. The church should be a resource of redemption, of grace and a healing balm. But it is often the resource of sentimentality and a false sense of sympathy for mankind as I mentioned above. There are those in the church who see themselves as prophets, as arbiters of who is right and who is wrong and of the mind of God, like Job’s friends. They think they have the answers to the patternless puzzle.

I’ll briefly mention that along with the problem of suffering there is also the problem of evil. Of the Christian view you are already aware. Jesus suffered death on the cross to defeat evil. His resurrection means new creation. That sin and evil continue is a matter of human’s free will. That suffering continues, Jesus’ resurrection tells us that things are not as they seem – that suffering can be redemptive and that death can be overturned so that new creation can take place. The return of Jesus is when he will put things to right.

I’ll just mention a non-Christian view.

An atheist will revere cause and effect science as the tree of life, as the impersonal source of life. This ‘relieves’ them of accountability. Yet, as mentioned above, the atheist will not see human agency as the mechanism behind the cause and effects of evil. Rather they see themselves as the tormented and not as the tormentors. This is more to say on this subject but would be of no comfort for you now.

How are you spending Christmas? Will you be alone? If so, I will come out. Let me know right away so that I can book a flight. I should have asked sooner.

For your sleep I recommend exercise. It will alleviate your mood and help you sleep at night.

Love,

Tom

 

December 2019

Tom,

I received your letter and your Christmas card. The card is beautiful. Thank you.

Of the things you wrote, that whole ball of wax, I can barely take it in. The church has been both a blessing and a bane to me. Now I see myself as part of the bane. My focus has been on myself and words spoken and not spoken to me.

You and I were raised in a church with petty rules. No dancing, no movies, no talking in church. Remember the sign that hung over the choir loft? Be still and know that I am God. How can anyone be still when so much suffering is going on?

Later I attended a free church where I thought I would be free from judgment. I think it is called grace. No way. I traded the Be Still church for the Shut Up about your problems put on a smiley face and carry on church. I came home depressed and crying so I went elsewhere. I told you about my last church. My last straw is the church I attend now. They accept anyone and anything. They teach universal reconciliation – that all humans will eventually be saved. I want to believe this for Nicholas’ sake but I can’t. Why wasn’t everyone saved and suffering stopped right after Jesus died on the cross? Why is there still evil and trouble in the world. It seems that people must still make a choice to be saved or not. You mentioned free will. It seems that universal salvation would mean that there is no difference between good and evil. Alls well that ends well, I guess is what they think.

They also teach about finding yourself within yourself. I found enough in myself I don’t like. If God thinks like me and the rest of these people, we’re all in trouble. Your letters got me thinking about all this.

Anyway, I sit by the window looking at the memorial tree covered in snow and wonder when the redemption part kicks in. I sit here with this feeling of something gushing up inside me like a flare was set off inside me and I can’t contain it. What could this be?

The church does give me the chance to work at a local homeless shelter. I brought in some of Nicholas’ clothes. I was so happy when I saw a boy wearing the shirt I bought for Nicholas.

Rose said that she is coming out for Christmas. She is bringing her kids. That will be a blessing. There will be noise and life in my home again. I will have to clean the house. This is no vale of roses.

How are you spending Christmas?

Agnus

 

December 2019

Dear Agnus.

Your email was a great encouragement to me. My concerns for you have greatly diminished. I don’t see you being taken in by your church’s pluralism. As you have stated, the church accepts anyone and everything. It teaches all religions as emanating from a divine origin and therefore all religions are true and therefore worthy of toleration and respect and considered on equal footing. As such, the church synthesizes universal principles of many religions to form a universal truth. The church wants to be known for being inclusive. You will encounter all manner of false teaching to make inclusion and toleration possible.

The Universalist church will teach about God and Jesus and immortality and, as you mentioned, that things will work out at the end, that no one will suffer eternal torment. The church implies with their teaching that evil and sin make people victims and therefore no one should have to suffer eternal punishment. Their teaching questions how the redeemed can enjoy heaven while even one soul suffers in hell. The sympathy card is played.

The Universalists are like the prodigal son’s older brother. He deems himself on higher moral ground than his father as he witnesses his brother repenting and returning to their father of his own volition. He believes he deserves the sympathy of his father for just being himself.

Like the atheists I have mentioned in a previous letter, the Universalists have taken on sentimentality and a false sense of sympathy for mankind and imbue it with false moralism and cheap grace. They do not let God be God. Rather, they let a god of their own making, as synthesized from the world’s religions, be their graven image.

But there will be no synthesis of good and evil. There will be no marriage of heaven and hell. In fact, there will be The Great Divorce. If you get a chance, read C. S. Lewis’ book by the same name. As Lewis depicts, the choices we make take us down divergent pathways.  We either choose a path of good that becomes an even greater good as we continue to make good choices and stay on its narrow way or we choose a broad path that leads towards ever greater evil.

In the story you will read of the proud, the stubborn, the willful and the angry.  There are those who demand their rights.  There will be those whose feet hurt them as they walk on solid ground for the first time and there will also be the “bright solid people” who move about the “High Country” without effort.  And finally, there will be those who reject Joy and solid Reality to return to “grey town” on the same bus.

Universal salvation teaching reckons the ‘victim’, the ‘tormented’, as having power over God, as being able to hold God hostage and being able to force God’s hand to enact salvation from eternal punishment regardless of the choices made. This implication is mere sentimentality and nothing more. God gives each what they have desired with their free-will. I’ll quote Lewis from that same book:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

 

Now, enough of this talk. My pipe just went out.

It appears that redemption is already “kicking in”. The shirt you provided that boy is an act of redemption and re-creation. You gave new life to the shirt and to the boy, so it is also an act of resurrection. Resurrection is the hope of Christians. You will see Nicholas again. In the meantime, keep doing what you are doing.

What you are experiencing as you sit in that chair by window is what Paul wrote about in Romans. The entire creation, not just you and I and the Russians I mentioned, but “the entire of creation is groaning together and going through labor pains together, with groaning too deep for words. The Searcher of Hearts knows what the spirit is thinking, because the spirits pleads for God’s people according to God’s will.” God knows what is going on inside you by his spirit which indwells you. The spirit is pleading on your behalf so that God will work all things together for good. The Comforter is with you.

Rose will bring the gift I have for you. I hope you receive this letter before Christmas. I am spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day at church to receive the Eucharist. After church on Christmas Day I will be having dinner with a couple my age. Then I will go home and watch Alistair Sim in A Christmas Carol with my parrolet Henry. He’s good company.

Love,

Tom

 

Christmas Eve 2019

Tom,

I received your letter just today. Thank you! Still smoking that old pipe?

And thank you for the wonderful gift. It gave me a spark of joy. Rose says it is a copy of the Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt. Isn’t this the same painting that hangs behind your desk?

I am sorry this will be a short email. I have a houseful right now. We’ll talk soon. Maybe you should stop smoking that pipe. You’re 82.

Merry Christmas Tom.

Love,

Agnus

 

January 2020

Dear Agnus,

I see in that painting Father Christmas and the greatest gifts being reconciliation and redemption.

I see myself, as I was a prodigal who returned to the father. The suffering caused by my waywardness to myself and to others, including a loss of dignity and relationship, was redemptive in that I saw myself as I was and in need of the father and his love to put things to rights. My Father in heaven suffered being un-fathered by me for a time but he never changed Who He was in my absence. He never said to me “do this and be that” and then I will accept you back. He did not become like the older brother with his strict moral order as the parable relates. Our relationship, not rules, was his priority.

I see Nicholas being comforted and back home. I see you beholding that scene and being filled with joy.

I will come out to see you in February. At 82 this will be my last trip. My age ‘kicked in’ a while ago, so my travel days will be over after this trip

If you’ll be asking me questions, I will have to bring my pipe.

Love,

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

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