April 10, 2005

Overheard in Podunk, Indiana: God Exists! And He Heals Boo-Boos

Never could there be an "overheard" site based in my current town of residence, mostly because there isn't much to overhear. Also, in a town of about 600 people, you can't do much of what can be called anonymous eavesdropping without arousing suspicion.

Not to mention the fact that 95% of the conversations that take place are just rote repetitions of the usual topics. Last Spring, during a powerful thunderstorm, a tree was knocked straight into the middle of a neighbor's empty garage, crushing it into splinters. It was literally the hottest topic of conversation for about two weeks, and you couldn't go anywhere without hearing mention of it. Which might pose a Zenlike riddle: If a tree falls on a garage, and Hoosiers don't talk about it incessantly, did it really happen?

But with the advent of Spring, there are more kids running around, biking, shooting baskets, and generally hanging out just outside my windows. I live in a loft studio in what used to be the town's high school (it was originally built in the 1850's as a YMCA, which is puzzling, because even today my town is in the middle of nowhere). Lately kids have been chilling outside my open windows, oblivious to my awareness of their conversations.

A few Sundays ago I was treated to a very "I Used to Believe" conversation in which little girl was explaining to another little girl the presence of God in her life. The girls had probably just left the Sunday service of the church right next door. It went something like this:

Girl #1: I believe in God because I know he's real.

Girl #2: Oh, I know, I do too. God takes care of me in small ways, and he's really nice.

Girl #1: God is big.

Girl #2: God is also small. Like just now, when I fell off my bike, and I almost ripped my dress, but then I didn't. That was God.

Girl #1: Oh!

Girl #2: And that one time that I fell down the stairs and almost skinned my knee, but then I didn't. That was God.

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