Monday, July 13, 2020

The Shrine That Wouldn't Fall

I often spend time thinking about all the ways the Gods have either intervened or proven themselves in my life and my family's. In fact, I have written blogs and books on the topic. However, when we think about the big miracles of life, we tend to forget the small things that the Gods used to comfort and strengthen us. 

In late 2014 through late 2015, my family and I lived in a small apartment in a very small village nestled in the western Illinois hills called Elizabeth. Our residence was on main street. In fact, we lived in Elizabeth until 2018. There were pros and cons to the town. On the good side, it was safe, quaint, had a surprisingly vibrant spirit, the people were very nice, and the countryside was breathtaking. On the bad side, utilities were very high and there were virtually no employment prospects. Your best bet was to open your own business, which we actually did for a short time, although it didn't turn any profit. We mainly stayed for the superb school district my son attended. 

The apartment we had was advertised as an apartment with a storefront, but it was actually an office space that we managed to make into a living area. In our living rooms, we would normally erect our family shrine in the apartments and homes we rented before we bought our own property in 2019. We did the same with the apartment in Elizabeth. The structure itself was made of solid wood and stood about 7 feet in height. It had a top chamber for statues and a lower chamber for an altar, plus a storage cabinet on the very bottom. All of our main statues and altar tools were placed on it. The biggest problem with the building was that it wasn't entirely structurally sound. The upstairs neighbors had a leaking problem with their pipes, and water would drip down and stain our ceiling in certain places. Although, we never expected what would happen when we returned from vacation in April of 2015. 

During our absence, the leaking from upstairs must have worsened. Our living room ceiling collapsed, leaving water and slushy debris everywhere. When I walked in, I thought I was stepping in milk and graham crackers all over my floor. The collapse got all over everything and soaked the carpet. One thing it never touched, however, was the shrine. There wasn't a single scratch or drop on it even though it was right next to an area where the ceiling fell. Mostly everything in that living room had been slammed, but the shrine was still there, just as beautiful as it was when we left. We didn't have much in the way of material at the time, and I think the Gods knew that the shrine was our most prized possession. But also, to me, the event demonstrated the fact that the Gods have never, and will never, be taken out of this world or this universe. For many centuries, haters have tried, but ultimately failed. 

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.