A couple of weeks ago Church was cancelled because they found bed bugs in our building. To make way for the exterminator, we were encouraged to attend church at another building in our area. Imagine our neighbors’ delight on finding that people from the “infested” area would be sitting next to them come Sunday.*

That’s just it. You hear someone has bedbugs and you wave at them from behind a glass door and then pretend like your phone just rang and you have to take it. Sooo Sorrrry, you mouth.

So yeah, it’s been a damper in our community. I don’t know if you’re dealing with bedbugs too, but if you aren’t, don’t look into it. Googling “bedbugs” produces the same result as Googling “headache”: you end up with a brain tumor.

Several families in our congregation have gotten them. And so at least in the mom circle where I run, there is a slow moving paranoia settling in. Women are scrubbing baseboards and buying mattress covers and taking their clothes off as soon as they get home from church. They stuff them into a black garbage bag where they stay until the next morning when all the home’s bedding gets washed and then dried, on high heat, for at least ninety minutes. This is not a judgement on my part. I would do these things two if I weren’t lazy. Getting bedbugs is a frightening prospect. (You can hardly stand to look at the picture on this post, admit it.)

We’re hearing stories about hiring dogs to sniff out the bugs and taking every single thing out of your apartment and throwing out furniture and washing every article of clothing and drying it for ninety minutes on high heat and exterminators who charge several thousand dollars. And someone has to clean up after the dogs.

Every scratch and every tingle and I’m convinced we’ve been hit.  (A side note. Sit down for fifteen minutes and think and write about bedbugs. You have never, in your life, itched so badly. Seriously. Try this.)

I’ve been telling myself that it’s inevitable that we’ll get them.  This way, I don’t have to worry about them until they come. This is a lame attempt to trick myself and I haven’t fallen for it once.

This past Sunday, a three-foot bedbug came running towards me, hugged me, danced around me, sat on my lap, and then sat next to me and laid her head on my knees.  And then I had to take her to use the bathroom.

It’s like I got hit by an even worse infestation. Since when was it so inconvenient to love someone and how come I’m failing so miserably at the whole thing?

Don’t you love those little reminders that you’ve got a long, long, long way to go? And why do they always seem to come from four-year olds?