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Previous Message From Virtual Church

The Digging

From: Mom79

Date: December 28, 2003

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

 I havenít written to you about the digging but this digging thing has gotten really weird. The digging began at the end of March. Thatís what the locals called itÖthe digging. Night and day you could hear the machines digging down, down, down into the ground. The digging has gone one on for months and months. The big ravine at the end of Porter Road, the ravine that used to be used by the town as a dump, filled up completely from the dirt they hauled away. Some of the town old timers said you could put a hundred basketball gyms in that ravine and still not fill up the ravine. But there it was. The ravine was full of dirt, rock, and gravel from the digging. No one could see the digging taking place because they built a wall about twenty feet high around where the digging took place. They took plywood and long poles and built a wall that high. You couldnít see anything but you could hear the machines going night and day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. They would haul out a big dump truck load of dirt and then rock about every hour or so. Every once in awhile the big cement trucks would come in and bring cement in to where they were digging.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: March 2, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

They are still digging. They must be digging straight down. Rumors are flying about what it is all about. Something really weird is going on. Where the trucks go into the digging project there are armed guards everywhere. They are not standard military. They all were all wearing black uniforms and drive black suburban vehicles. The weirdest part of all is that they are digging at the back of old Nellie Greenís market. No one has used that building in fifty years. Nellie quit running the market in the early fifties. If you remember, you can look in the window and see the old gas lights still hanging from the ceiling along with the big Edison electric light bulbs they used when they first put in electricity to the building back in the early 1920ís. We think it is some kind of government agency doing this. 

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: May 1, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Johnny Fortson, old Johnny, not young Johnny, rented his farm field to these people to use as a storage and staging area. Johnny said that some people from Washington DC came to him and paid him big bucks to rent his field. They moved in all kinds of digging equipment. Roscoe, you know the guy who used to live behind us when we first moved here, said the equipment was mostly mining equipment. Why would anyone want to build a mine behind a little store here in Mapleton? We donít have any coal, no gold that we know of, no rich ore of any kind. The whole town is talking about it.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: May 10, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

The digging continues. The whole town is buzzing about this or at least what is left of the town. Since farming went big and commercial we donít have many farmers here and the town merchants all shut down. Of the twelve stores we used to have when you were a kid, only one is left from the old days. But the digging has everybody talking. The last few weeks, you could feel the ground shake when they were digging. Franky Jones said they must be trying to get to China . You remember Paul Ronson? He is the science teacher at the high school and he told me the other day they must be digging a tunnel miles long and with a very deep shaft down. We noticed in the last few weeks more and more cement trucks coming in. We are not sure what that means.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: July 3, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Now they are bringing in steel. They are bringing in steel beams like you see used in big buildings in the big cities. We still donít know what any of this is about.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: July 10, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

A week ago, everyoneís well went dry. I mean everyone! Even people on the outskirts of Mapleton had no water in their well. The town council called a meeting with the state natural resources director. Water was being brought in by the government but we donít know which agency. A couple days later, water came back in the wells. Then all the water had to be tested. What a mess! All the people here in Mapleton believe the digging made the wells go dry. Franky Jones circulated a petition to send to our congressman and senator. Everyone in Mapleton and Maple Township signed that petition. I mean everyone! We wanted answers but all we got was double-talk.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: August 5, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

The digging has stopped. Everything stopped. No trucks came in. No trucks left. Really weird.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: August 23, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Now they are bringing in semi-trailers. We donít know what is in them but we think it is probably some kind of equipment. All told, we counted thirty-eight semi trailers coming in and leaving. There was a caravan of them lined up clear out to the interstate access road.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: October 15, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Now they are taking down the plywood walls. But there is nothing there. Inside the walls where the digging took place there is nothing. Just a lot of fresh dirt spread around with gravel on top of the dirt. They dug down, took out ten gymnasiums or more worth of dirt, brought in concrete and steel, brought in thirty-eight semi truck loads of something, and there is nothing there except fresh gravel placed over fresh dirt. But there was something different. The back door into Nellie Greenís old store has been changed to a new steel door with some kind of fancy security system where you have to have an id card or something to get the door open. You canít see the back of the store from the front windows so we do not know what is going on. This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: November 20, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Well, I was down at Nathanís grocery store the other day to get a loaf of bread and some lunch meat. A young guy came in and asked Henrietta if there was a rooming house in Mapleton. Of course, Henrietta being who she is had to ask him a zillion questions but he gave no answers. He was driving a red sports car and was pulling a little rental trailer. I was at the counter and heard the whole thing. Before the young man left I told him I might be interested in renting a room out and gave him my telephone number. Donít know what will happen but it might be nice to have someone in the house besides me.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: November 21, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Well, you will not believe this but the young man I gave my phone number too has something to do with the digging. Remember Charley Zee? Well, he has a pair of binoculars and Charley was spying on the new back door they put in at the back of the Nellie Greenís old store. Anyway, the young man in the red sports car goes in and out of that back door every day. Charley said it looks like there is an elevator just inside the back door. I suppose they could have dug down and built something underground, but what could it be? Why would somebody dig down and build something underground in Mapleton?

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: November 22, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Just got a call from the young man who goes in and out of the new back door. He is supposed to come over this afternoon. Will let you know what happens.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: November 23, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Met the young man. His name is Jason. He looks like he would be in his middle thirties. I asked him what he did and all he said was historical research. Anyway, we talked for awhile and I told him if he rented the room there would be no smoking, no drinking, no swearing, and no women sleeping over allowed. He said none of that was a problem because he was a Christian. What a pleasant surprise! These days you never know what you will get in a person. He was very pleasant and respectful. He will be back later this afternoon to bring in his things.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: November 24, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Jason moved in his things yesterday. The spare bedroom is wall to wall books and computer equipment. I did get out of him that he went to college and graduated from MIT. He does not talk much. He would not say anything about what he does. What and how would someone do historical research in a place underground? Couldnít you do that kind of thing at a regular library?

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: December 1, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

Jason has been here a week and he is a very nice young man. Very nice to be around. He wonít say a word about what he does. He did refer to the place he works as ďThe ProjectĒ. I asked questions but he says he cannot comment.

Thanksgiving was kind of lonely without all of you here. We had a special dinner at church. I invited Jason and he came in late. Everyone at church really liked him. Everyone asked questions about the digging and the project but he said he couldnít comment. Everyone was nice and did not press him.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: December 13, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

It will be so good to see all of you Christmas. My eyes ache to see the grandkids. Jason may be here when you visit. I donít think he has any family or he is not permitted to contact them.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: December 16, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

The other evening I was out doing the dishes and Jason was eating one of my apple pies. He loves apple pie. Anyway, he asked me if I could keep a secret and I said yes, but you know how I am. Jason said since I had been so nice to him he would like to take me on a tour of the project. I dropped a dish on the floor I was so shocked. He said we will go over there tomorrow.

Love Mom

 

From: Mom79

Date: December 18, 2004

To: Janice52@timemaukub.infonet

Subject: The Digging

Dear Janice,

What I am going to tell you now you will not believe. What I experienced I do believe but the way I experienced it sounds like something out of a science fiction book. Jason and I went to the project. He put his palm up on this little screen next to the back door of the store and then a buzzer sounded. Evidently the screen reads his palm print. He opened the back door to Nellie Greenís old store and there was an elevator just inside the back door like Charley Zee said there was. Jason and I got in the elevator and the elevator went down, down, down. The elevator stopped for awhile and didnít move. I donít know why and Jason did not say why. Then the elevator started to move down again. The elevator got to where we were going and the door opened. We walked out into a long hallway. All the concrete was still fresh but looked like it was drying out. There was a golf cart just outside the elevator and we got in the golf cart and Jason drove down one hallway and then another and then another. Jason drove a long way until we got to a room full of computer equipment. In the room was a little area with a platform in the middle. Jason said we were going to take a Christmas tour of Bethlehem . I said I didnít want to go because the Middle East is a war zone. Jason said not to worry because we are going back in time. Jason said we are going back to see the place where Jesus was born at the time of His birth. I about had a heart attack. I know what the project is. The project is a time machine. Jason said the project is a way to make real reality. Instead of virtual reality, the project can make real reality by going back in time. Jason turned on some computer equipment, did some things on a keyboard, and we both stood in the middle of this platform. Jason held some kind of controller in his hand and pushed the button on the controller. All of a sudden everything got kind of fuzzy and it seemed like I was in the middle of a snowstorm. Then all of a sudden, we were there. We were in this dirty place. We were in Bethlehem. We were standing next to this cave. It was awful. Jason had a light device like a flashlight and we looked in this cave. There were cattle and sheep in there. Manure covered the floor. It stunk. I thought to myself there is no way Jesus could be born in a place like this. Jason said in a few minutes we would see them but they would not see us. In a few minutes, a man walking and a woman riding a donkey started toward the cave from a building not too far away. As they got closer I could see they were covered in dust and dirt. They were probably dirty from being on the road and out in the dust and dirt from traveling. Mary was groaning and was in obvious pain from the labor. They got up to the cave and Joseph picked Mary up off the donkey and helped her down to the ground. Joseph walked to the cave and looked in. I could not understand their language but I could see Joseph was very upset. I could see tears in his eyes after looking in the cave. You could tell he really adored Mary. He walked into the cave and tried to make a place for Mary that was more clean. It was a horrible place. Joseph took some straw in from outside the cave for Mary to lie down upon. Then he carried Mary into the cave. They were both crying. Joseph came out of the cave and things stopped. Everything stopped for a long time. Nothing moved. There was no sound. No wind. No movement of anything or anyone. Jason said he thought maybe during the birth of Jesus everything stopped. That time stood still. All of a sudden things started moving again. I heard Mary say something and Joseph turned around and went back into the cave. Then I heard a baby cry. I could hear Mary and Joseph talking. I could here the joy in their voices even though I could not understand what they were saying. All of a sudden there was a bright light from the sky shining down over the cave. In a few minutes, some rough looking people walked toward the cave. These people must have been the shepherds because they all carried long poles with crooks on the end of the poles. I did not get to see Jesus. I donít know why but Jason said our observance allotment had been used up. In a minute or two, everything got a little fuzzy again, and then we hit the snowstorm. Instantly, we were back on the platform where we started. Of course, I wanted to see Him. But I will always remember His little cry. I will always remember the terrible place where He was born. The place where Jesus was born was not nice and clean and pristine like we show in our church Christmas pageant. Jesus was born in the worst place in the world so we could all go to the best place when we die. My life will never be the same. Your dad died four years ago. Since your dad has been gone, things have been really tough. But things are a little easier now. I have a new memory I will never lose. I will never forget his little cry. His little cry was full of joy and sadness.

I canít wait to see all of you and talk more about all I thought when I got to see His place of birth.

Love Mom

Luke 2:1-20  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. [2] (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria .) [3] And everyone went to his own town to register. [4] So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea , to Bethlehem the town of David , because he belonged to the house and line of David. [5] He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. [6] While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, [7] and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. [8] And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. [9] An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. [10] But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. [11] Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. [12] This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." [13] Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, [14] "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."[15] When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." [16] So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. [17] When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, [18] and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. [19] But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. [20] The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. (NIV)

This story is fiction. All resemblance to persons living or dead is a coincidence.

This story first appeared in December 2004, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSIONģ. NIVģ. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018