We seem to have survived the weekend and made it into another Monday. Not the stuff of legend and movies, but we'll take it. Not everyone did survive the weekend. We take it on faith that there is some reason for both realities.
Dear Wife was able to get up and sit a while in a steamy shower, letting the warm moist air in it hydrate her concretized sinus passages and such. Makes the achy joints feel a little better, temporarily anyway. Seems to have helped, some, at least temporarily.
This place is extraordinarily dry during the heating season, and her physical ailments tend in that direction anyway, so the two realities play off of each other. I get pretty dry myself, I went through 1-1/2 bottles of water during the night, several times being wakened. During the night, we keep on of those Vick's Vaporizers going in the bedroom, on a dresser right by her side of the bed. It helps, some. During the day, we keep a kettle of water going on the stove. Which also helps, some. But it certainly makes a person long for the warm weather that, all too briefly, graces this region. Several months off by the calendar reckoning.
The one "pain" that goes with that is cleanup. The water coming from the municipal system is notoriously high in lime. Which deposits on everything, notably to include the inside of that kettle, the heat element of the vaporizer, and, of course, things like the water heater. I have the vaporizer element soaking in white vinegar, which helps a little bit. Might try some lemon juice also, which supposedly will work. If not, then next time I have some money, intend to buy a jug of CLR or Lime Away or something.
She and I have been through rough situations before. Individually and in our years together. The Lord carried us through. Always, or I wouldn't be writing this. Not by much sometimes, but always. Her health, and, in earlier years, that of our daughters', has made for some difficult moments. It has changed us in several ways, some of which don't show up to even close observers. But long-term and serious health issues change one's life, and that includes those around as well as those with the maladies.
We are supposed to have several days of relatively warm weather. "Warm" being defined here as being above the freezing point. We'll take it. I saw a projected rainfall map, just for today, a region that covers pretty much all the areas that we lived in during our times in the South. Some of those areas are projected to get 3 inches to 4 inches of rain. TODAY! Others are expected to get MORE than 4 inches of rain. TODAY! That's after last week's ice storms in the general area. Wow! We lived in central Alabama that day back in, I believe, 2008 or 2009 when we got about 3-1/2 inches in one day. No fun, none at all. Took me nearly two hours and numerous detours to make the usual 20 minute commute home from work. Much damage and loss of life too. Today's downpour is likely to be worse.
This will be a momentous week on the American political scene. A new President is expected -- Lord willing -- to be inaugurated late this week. Has been an extremely contentious election season, one that seems to have occupied too much attention for the last two years. Fasten your seat belts, this may be a bumpy ride. There are people, including close family members and friends of more than 50 years' standing, who have cut all, and I do mean ALL, contact as a result of disagreements with respect to the political and social scene. I do not think that the inauguration will heal those wounds.
Had one great thing yesterday. The little church we've been attending is in an older building. Which can have its own charms, but sometimes and older building and and older congregation don't mix well. The sanctuary is well above ground level, which was normal construction techniques for brick structures in the area at the time, possible avoiding heavy costs for excavating the basement and foundations, possibly avoiding some flooding, and possibly in an effort to be more prominent. It does have the single benefit of making the trek from the outside ground level to either level be half that distance that a different design layout might yield. But the result is that there are a lot of steps to go up, coming from the outside into the sanctuary. Those with mobility issues, notably to include one woman in a wheelchair, are in a rough situation. Yesterday, as ever, three of us dragged her in her wheelchair up those steps. Getting to the basement, where the restrooms are, would be impossible, the stairs are too narrow and steep. Well, about six weeks ago, a chair lift was installed on those basement steps going from ground level to the basement. Due to a 90° turn at the ground level landing in the run from the main floor to the basement, they could not make a single run from the "main floor" to the basement. Now, as of last Friday, there is an exterior chair lift that goes from ground level to the Sanctuary / main level. Once some finish work is done, and the state inspectors give an "OK to use" certificate in two weeks' time, a person will be able to go from car up a (new) sidewalk, onto the lift, up to the outside landing, and thence to roll right in. Sounds good! Of such things are progress made. Not probably often mentioned in seminary classes, but needed. This will help Dear Wife a lot. And others too, hopefully many who have felt physical limits prevent regular attendance.
The Old Testament reading today is chapters 38, 39, and 40 of the Genesis.
Several things are going on here. The latter, shown in chapter 40, is the issues of Joseph in Egypt. Going from being his father's favorite, to a captive in a pit, to a slave hauled far away, to a slave sold off. To a servant in a household, being commanded to become sexually intimate with the master's wife. To being falsely accused, and thrown into prison. Which put him in direct contact with out-of-favor servants of Pharaoh, at that time arguably the most powerful ruler on Earth. Which will, in a few more chapters, lead to other things, things that affect our world to this very day.
Some other things are going on as well, things that don't reflect well on anyone. The sons of Jacob were not always well behaved, acting much like that cultures around them. Lousy cultures at that. Here we see Judah, a name of one of the children of Israel, one we will be seeing throughout the Bible, behaving badly. The result has, among other things, given us the name of a practice we now sometimes clinically refer to as "Onanism". But there is bad behavior, yet the Lord brought something good out of it. Out of that bad behavior came the other son, whose name was Pharez, sometimes rendered Perez. Who was one of the ancestors of David, and thus of Jesus.
The New Testament reading is verses 22-50 of Matthew chapter 12.
Is anyone here still thinking that good deeds will always bring approval and support? Well, doesn't happen. Then, or now. Jesus was doing some wonderful things for those with no other hope. They themselves were grateful. Those around them, not so much. The phrase, "no good deed goes unpunished" has been around for a good while. Sometimes, we think and say, "I wish that I had been there". But it's at least possible that our reaction would have been no better. Unfortunately. There's a song about that, incidentally. But some of the ones who saw Him heal the sick and do wonderful things, were also in the crowd shouting "Crucify Him!". Sad. True.