Thursday, December 20, 2007

Satan is in the front yard, and he's on fire.

I have been really busy the past few days; anyone else??? Yeah, well I have slacked on my everyday writing bloggity goodness. (o.k. usually just a daily update on my mundane life) Anywho, I got to thinking, What would be a good post about Christmas? Mulling over Christmas memories I came back to this one...enjoy.

A few years ago, well more like 20, we had a group of "Sister" Missionaries. It was so fun to have 6 ladies in our area who were serving the Lord. They all lived in this tiny apartment on a busy street, a duplex actually, shared with an elderly couple who owned the property.

We had become close to the Sisters, invited them to dinner, went out on "splits" with them and generally tried to be helpful. When Christmas came around we naturally felt they deserved some special considerations. Thor and I bought them a little Christmas tree and then I dug through my treasures and came up with a rather large box of Christmas ornaments.

Not just any ornaments, the ones from my childhood. Who else would treat them so nicely? Who else would appreciate the sentimentality of such a box? All the ornaments I made as a little kid and as a young woman, and a few that my own kids had made...all hand made and all the ones that you treasure. Sister Missionaries deserved my best, so I wrapped them up and took them over to the apartment.

They were so appreciative. They could hardly believe that we gave them the tree and means to decorate it. They had such a great time that night, took photos, and showed it off to the next door neighbors. For about two weeks they looked forward to coming home after a long day and seeing the pretty lights and glittered goodies. All until one night.

We were awakened by a call at 3 something o'clock in the morning by a local police officer. He wanted to inform us that our tree and ornaments had been in a fire and destroyed. We were so panicked! We envisioned the tiny duplex in flames and all the occupants fleeing into the freezing night air. Not so. The officer explained that all the tenants were safe and that except for the tree and a bit of the front yard all was well and we could in get the details in the morning.

We drove over first thing to see if everyone was fine and found the Sisters in a tizzy. It seemed that one of the Sisters had been having visions for quite sometime, visions she had kept to herself until that night. Jesus had come to her and informed her that Satan lived in the Christmas tree and needed to be destroyed. So she made a plan. She would wake up in the middle of the night when all others were asleep, take the entire tree to the front yard and set it on fire without hesitation. And so it was.

By the time the fire department arrived the tree was cremated and the yard beginning to take on the flames. All was put out and the sisters asked to file a report. (o.k. now, in my head, I am trying to see what it would have looked like for anyone on that busy street, even at 2:00 a.m., to drive by and see that tree in flames! What a sight! Holy Cow!)

In the end the poor visionary sister was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and sent home for treatment. The other sisters were assigned a new companion, and they went on to serve great missions. But I am sure they, as we, will remember the year that Satan lived in a Christmas tree!

Now, lest anyone feel that I am mocking or making fun of a mental illness, no. Please don't go there. We actually have family members who suffer (and I mean that in the most serious tone possible- suffer) with this illness. It is not fun, it's tragic. That said, the situation was kind of funny. Frankly, it was devastating at the time to lose all of our most precious ornaments, ones that were irreplaceable, but when you think about it, what a way to go and I can and do laugh about it now!

add to sk*rt


Bek said...

It is a great story to send them out with... I actually think that sister might have been my roommate in school... she came to us AFTER she set something on fire as a missionary and ended up buring lots of stuff in our apt too...

I know the reality of mental illness and it isn't something that is funny, but sometimes the situations it creats ARE funny...

Sorry you lost your ornaments, but it is a GREAT story..

Red said...

interesting, veeeeeeerrrrrry interesting.... yup, that's all I have to say! ;-D

s'mee said...

Bek, ack! I wish I could remember her name and we could solve the mystery, but no, dangit! Quite a coincidence though!

Red, yeah, interesting! lol

maren said...

What a story. I'm glad you can laugh about it now.

The Pea said...

WOW!!! You will have to stop by my please and see who lived in my tree this year. It did feel like satan.