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25 December 2016

Subject: Things at Home (Sunday Psalms)

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Sunday Psalms: Fictional Narratives Inspired by the Psalms, Proverbs, & Other Biblical  Works

Subject: Things at home
Greg Masters
sheriff.greg.masters@unioncountyor.org
To:
bethm.pdxdoctor@gmail.com
August 27, 2016 at 7:49 AM

Dear Beth,

Sorry it’s been so long. Crappy brother, I know. I’ll try to call more. I know you hate emails, and it’d be faster to tell you the whole story over the phone, but 30 years from now, when I’m old and drooling and you are too, I want this written down. You can call me later and make fun of me for rambling.

I don’t know how things are at the hospital, but I’m sure there are things you can’t explain. When you deliver those babies, do you ever get a supernatural feeling? Anyways, something like that happened to me last night. Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m writing, to work through it.

So you know how boring things are around here…Sometimes I wish I was back in Portland with you, but lately I’ve started to understand why Mom and Dad moved us out here. It’s so quiet. Last night was the first emergency call since April (that was when Grady O’Toole got drunk and passed out in Janet Houston’s front yard. She thought it was a dead body. I’m glad you never ended up with Grady). Until last night, that’s the most action we’ve had all year.

“Screaming. A woman is screaming, Gregory.” I was just leaving Bingo when Mrs. Carter called. I swear, her ears never miss a thing. She was walking Toodles when she heard noises coming from the old Kramer place. I was exhausted but promised I’d check it out. You know she’d bug me until I did. 

On the way over, I got a call from Jesse. She’s my new deputy. Hired her when John moved back east. You’d like her. She’s a lot like you. She has this habit of making up bazaar reports just to get me get riled up. Thinks it’s pretty hilarious. After the third time she tricked me, I stopped falling for it. 

“Sorry to bug you, Greg, but we got a UFO sighting.” That’s what she said. I almost hung up on her. 

“Jesse, I got a screaming woman inside the old Kramer place.” I didn’t have time for one of her pranks, but she insisted it wasn’t a joke. Needed me to ride out to Bethel Lake. The Finnigan boys were reporting some strange activity. You remember Tom and Pete Finnigan — Carol’s boys? Got their own little gang. Ride their motorcycles to the end of the county line and go night fishing. They can get a little rowdy and I have to drive out to make sure they don’t drown.

“They’re drunk, Jesse,” I told her, but she was already at the lake. Claimed she saw lights everywhere, and I could hear the fear in her voice. I’ve never heard Jesse scared, and I told her to stay in the squad car until I got there. She didn’t listen. 

In the background, I could hear music, like the radio blasting, kind of like the halftime show at a Superbowl game, only it wasn’t the radio. Naturally, I brushed off the possibility of a UFO. There was always an explanation. 

When I pulled up to the Kramer’s, the moon was full as a yellow beach ball. I stepped out of the truck and looked up at the sky: infinite stars. Most stars I’ve ever seen. How are the stars in Portland?

Along the side of the house I spotted an old Honda. Place has been on the market for months, so I figured I’d be kicking out squatters.

“Sheriff department!” I hollered and pounded on the door. The door swung open and I looked at the face of a man I hadn’t seen in years. He was holding a baby. Little thing was still covered in new-birth slime. I guess you’re used to that.

“Greg! I’m so glad you’re here. My fiancée just had a baby.” 

Beth, do you remember Joey Kramer? Did he leave town before or after you? He hasn’t changed. Big old beard. Still one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Joey told me his grandparents had temporarily let him the place. Power and water hadn’t been turned back on, and Maria (that’s his fiancée) went into labor before he could get her to the hospital. Joey was a paramedic in Iraq and managed to deliver the baby himself. I’m sure the screaming Mrs. Carter heard was Maria.

All this seemed reasonable. That’s right when things got weird.

“Greg!” I turned from Joey and the baby to see Jesse pulling the squad car up behind mine. She parked and ran up the path. Behind her were the Finnigans and their buddies on their bikes. But it was more than the regular gang. One by one, a continuous fleet of motorcycles rumbled up to the house. Didn’t know we had that many bikes in the county. Each one parked as quietly as they could: in the drive, on the grass, along the street. Each one dismounted, getting as close as possible to the little porch. It was like that final scene in Field of Dreams. (BTW: Haven’t watched that in years. Next time you come home, we’re watching it).

Anyhow, I wasn’t sure what was happening, if I should be arresting people or telling them to disperse. And Jesse wasn’t any help answering my questions. She couldn’t take her eyes off that baby. 

“Who are all these people?”I was fingering my gun when a girl peeked out from behind Joey and whispered to him. Pretty young thing, almost too young for me to feel great about the situation. Her eyes were big and brown, like that raccoon we found in the attic. She’d just given birth, but there was something serenely beautiful about her. Mysterious.

“Excuse me, miss, we don’t want to disturb you, but we’re here to see the baby.” It was Tom Finnigan. Never heard Tom speak so softly. He was talking to the girl, but he was fixated on the baby.

I watched Joey’s face as Tom made his request. I’ve seen that look before. Dad used to get it when he thought one of us was in danger. But the girl–she beamed like Mom did whenever we surprised her with breakfast in bed.

“It’s alright,” Maria told Joey. She placed a hand on his shoulder and he reluctantly held the baby out to Tom.

I can’t describe it to you, but when Tom Finnigan held that baby, a supernatural calm fell upon us. It was like he was holding world peace in his beefy arms. Never seen a grown man weep like that before. Promised he’d never get drunk again.

While the men passed the baby around, Jesse finally explained what happened out at the lake. There wasn’t a spaceship, but she claimed the sky was filled with flying creatures. An insane light surrounded them, and they were singing. That was the noise I heard over the phone. They told the fishing posse about the baby. Told them to come see him and tell everyone they knew about him. The Finnigan gang must have texted every biker in Eastern Oregon.

One by one, visitors kept coming. Bikers and truckers and ranchers. Around midnight I insisted on taking the baby and his mom to the hospital in La Grande. Wanted to make sure they got some sleep. There’s no furniture in the Kramer’s place. Not right for a new mom to sleep on the floor.

I’m not sure what to do, Beth. I know this whole thing sounds insane. How do I write up an accurate report? I don’t believe in UFO’s, but I don’t see how so many people could all be crazy all at the same time. Please don’t tell anyone about this. Not yet. I don’t need any UFO hunters out here.

I wish you were here. I know you see babies all the time, but I wish you were here to see this one. There’s something different about him. Special. He’s really special. I can’t explain it. You’d have to see him for yourself.

Alright. That’s enough. You can call and make fun of me if you want. Come home soon. Love, Greg

And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.”

And it came to pass, when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger. And when they saw it, they made known concerning the saying which was spoken to them about this child. And all that heard it wondered at the things which were spoken unto them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them. Luke 2:8-20 (ASV)

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Question to Ponder: Are there miracles in life you are prone to dismiss?

Song Recommendation: Who Would Imagine a King by Whitney Houston

-Read Previous Sunday Psalms from Season Two: Episode 1Episode 2, Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5,Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12, Episode 13, Episode 14, Episode 15, Episode 16,  Episode 17, Episode 18, Episode 19, Episode 20

Written by Heidi Sadler, Inspired by Luke 2:8-20. Copyright © 2016 Heidi Sadler, All Rights Reserved.

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