Tag Archives: attack

I Vant To Suck Your Blood

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Our culture has an obsession with vampires.  Brooding ones, sparkly ones, dangerous ones, ones with a soul.  One of the old vampire legends is that they can change form–usually from their more human-like form into a bat or bird.  Which has got to be a pretty neat trick when you’re trying to escape werewolves or lovestruck teenage girls.  I don’t have any personal experience vampires, but I have battled with my own set of bloodsucking creatures.  And apparently my blood was exactly their personal brand of heroin.

It all happened just north of Romania’s own Transylvania in the country of Ukraine.  A coincidence?  I think not.  I had just arrived with a team of approximately 25 people.  We were there to serve in an special non-profit home that rescues homeless kids from the streets and provides them with a loving and warm family environment.  It’s an amazing program where the kids are welcomed into a family and not just crammed into an orphanage.  (You should check them out at http://www.house-of-james.org.  You can even make a donation or sponsor a child.)

Anyway, we had just arrived in Kiev and were going to spend the night there before heading out to the home.  We were spending the night in a  large church.  The women were all sleeping on the third floor and there was a pile of comfy foam mattresses that were our beds.  It was a gorgeous night out and so one of my teammates and I decided we were going to sleep outside on the porch.  We drug our mattresses outside and settled into our sleeping bags.  The night sky was beautiful–lit up with a million stars that seemed close enough to reach out and touch.  Fireflies were dancing around the trees and birds were softly chirping a lullaby.  Soon we were both sound asleep, cocooned in our sleeping bags.

The next morning I stretched myself awake and climbed out of my cozy bed.  I smiled at my teammate and wished her a good morning.  (An impressive feat since I hadn’t even had my coffee.)  She looked great, stunning actually.  Far more beautiful than any woman has a right to look that early in the morning when climbing out of bed.  Smooth hair, perfect skin. Just beautiful.  I slumped my way to the bathroom to begin brushing my teeth and pulling the knots out of my hair.

To say I’m not a morning person is a gross understatement.  So I wasn’t really paying that much attention.  It wasn’t until I straightened up after brushing my teeth that I actually looked in the mirror.  What I saw was not pretty.  I had been attacked by bloodsuckers. No, there wasn’t a set of fang marks in my neck or blood trickling down my throat.  But it was a vicious attack.  Apparently a scourge of mosquitoes had decided to attack in the night, and I’d been completely clueless.  I sleep on my side, with my hands tucked under my chin, and you could clearly tell by the placement of the mosquito bites.  Although I do change sides in the middle of the night, I spend the majority of the night on one side, and you could see that one half of my face had twice as many bright red welts as the other.  The bites continued on my neck, arms, and hands.  There were literally hundreds of bites–I looked worse than when I had the chicken pox.  I stared at my reflection for the longest time.  Baffled.

Then I opened my door and went in search of my teammate.  The one who woke up looking so stunning.  The one who also slept outside under the stars.  Where were her mosquito bites?  Apparently nowhere.  She didn’t have a single mosquito bite–not one!  And I had hundreds!  Apparently there really is something to that “personal brand of heroin” crap–and here I thought it was just some romanticized nonsense invented to sway the hearts of the juvenile lit crowd.

I spent the next week trying to avoid scratching my face to a pock-marked mess.  Those vile creatures had done quite a number on me–sucked my blood and left me miserable.  Which leaves me wondering . . . maybe instead of just turning into bats and ravens, maybe vampires have perfected the art of turning into mosquitoes.  It’s a brilliant plan, really.  They can just attack us in our sleep and we’re none the wise . . . I’m just sayin’.

 

I Was Attacked In Church

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I was attacked in church.  Physically assaulted.  I swear I’m telling the truth—three fingers in the air, scouts honor.

Some of you are freaking out right now.  Some of you who know me personally are running through the Rolodex of your minds trying to figure out who it was.  You don’t know them.  I promise.

I was traveling to churches and speaking about my ministry.  I was seated in the pew, listening as someone gave the standard announcements—Sunday School picnics, bake sales—you know the kind.  The pews around me were empty, and I was focusing on the upcoming message.  Suddenly a family walked in and sat behind me.  A middle aged mother and her two teens began to participate in worship.  From the sounds behind me I was guessing the young girl had some special needs.  As I turned around to greet them during that time-honored tradition known as “handshaking time,” I saw that my guess was accurate.  I smiled and introduced myself and she nodded back. As we sang songs she became very agitated.  Later I would learn that she wasn’t used to anyone sitting near her, other than her family.  Maybe they should have given me a pre-service warning.

All of sudden it happened.  Right there in church.  Mid-song.  She grabbed my hair with the grip of She-Ra, and started pulling.  Perhaps if she’d only had a few strands of hair, or even small sections, my hair would have just vacated my head and there wouldn’t have been a problem.  But she was using both hands and had about half my hair in fists.  When she started yanking, my body almost flew backwards over the pew.  You know those crime scene dramas when some man grabs a woman by her hair and drags her across the parking lot, before stuffing her in a car?  I felt their pain.

No one really knew what to do.  The worship leader tried to focus his eyes elsewhere.  The family across the aisle staunchly stared straight ahead.  The pastor seemed oblivious.  The unfortunate mother behind me tried to wrest my head from her daughter’s hands, but wasn’t having much luck.  This girl was strong!  If they could channel her strength she would have a good chance of winning her high school the state wrestling championship.  The mother was starting to panic.  She kept whispering “I’m so sorry,” while trying to pry her daughter’s fingers lose.  Eventually, after about three minutes, I was able to break free.  Huge hunks of my hair hung limply in the girls hands.  Finally, an usher decided to get involved, and he came to help escort the poor girl out, who was now screaming at me.  I held my head in my hands, tears streaming down my face, trying to compose myself.  Trying to act like it was no big deal that my head was literally bleeding.

I was definitely a “special” guest speaker that day.

In addition to being incredibly painful, it was truly a very funny day.  (Once the swelling came down.)  But it also begs the question . . . what would you do in that situation?  How would you minister to both a beautiful young girl whom God created with her own special gifts, talents, and needs AND the unsuspecting guest in your service?