Thus says the Lord: You shall arise and go to a faraway place, to attend a memorial service, and you shall lodge in the hotel chosen by your husband’s brother.
And lo, even on that selfsame day I shall cause a great horde of teenaged girls to descend upon that same hotel. I shall set you in the midst of them; verily, even shall you be staying on the same floor of the hotel as this mighty army of girls.
And it shall come to pass, in the black and dark hours of the night, that they shall run up and down the hallway making a noise very like Pharaoh’s chariots and horses rushing into battle. At all hours of the watch they shall talk and cackle and make all manner of noise, like a grievous swarm of flies. They shall repeatedly open and close doors, and across the hall from your room they shall stand at the door and knock, saying in a shrill voice, “Where is Benita? She has my key!”
Then shall you arise from your bed, cry out in the night, and phone the hotel front desk, pouring out your heart like water. And lo, for a short time all will be quiet. Do not rest easy, though, for does not nature teach you that teenage girls without a chaperone must make noise, a noise even as the sound of war? And lo, it shall come to pass, in less than twenty minutes time, that the noise shall be as before.
Be not hasty in your spirit to be angry: you shall for a time lie in your bed. And you shall, in your mind, alphabetically go through hymns, singing the first verse of these praises to the Lord:
Be Thou My Vision
Crown Him with Many Crowns
Draw Us In the Spirit’s Tether
Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Fairest Lord Jesus
And lo, you shall reach the letter “M” and be sore vexed that it is 2 a.m. and the young maidens are still awake, shouting as if in battle, slamming doors, making a joyful noise.
You shall arise once more, in your lavender paisley pajamas with hair askew. And you shall suddenly open your door, and shall confront the teenage girls who stand frozen in place in the hotel hallway, holding hair dryers and makeup. And you shall say to them with the voice of the fierce lion, “You girls have got to quiet down!” And they shall reply in unison, each while pointing to another, “It’s her fault.”
Then shall the Lord say unto you: Forsake your wrath. Be joyful that these girls are not malicious. Upon seeing you in your lavender paisley pajamas they did not mock you; neither did they threaten you or take up violence against you. Be glad that they are not breaking the furniture or setting things on fire. With thanksgiving in your heart, think of your own child, who is not riotous or unruly, and remember in the light of morning to tell that child that she had better not behave like these girls when she is on the marching band trip, or else.
And there was evening and there was morning, only one night, but a really long one. In the morning light, you shall descend to the first floor for breakfast. And there in the breaking of the bread you shall meet your husband’s brother. And you shall recount to him the tale of your woeful night. And he shall say to you, “What noise? There was no noise on the fourth floor.”
- The Book of Peregrinations 5:1-57
|Teenage Girls (but not the ones in this passage)|
- capable of making a
great deal of noise at night