Purple water fever

Father David Epps's picture

A few weeks ago, a phenomenon occurred at our church that demanded notice. I was in Chicago at the time but word came to me that the water at the church was purple.

I should explain that, in our communion, bishops are authorized to wear a clerical shirt that is a “red-purple” color. Some would call it magenta. The color is, apparently, sought after by many. In fact, a priest who has an insatiable desire to be a bishop is said to have “purple shirt fever.”

In November of 2007, I was consecrated a bishop and thus permitted to wear the purple, although I mostly have stayed with the black clergy shirts, especially in my own church. Nevertheless the purple is occasionally present. So, a few weeks ago, when the water at the church turned red purple — the same color as the bishop’s clerical shirts – it made me wonder, could this be some sort of miracle?

After all, the likeness of the Virgin Mary has been known to appear on a cinnamon bun, and some churches have reported that, during revival services, gold dust has fallen from the ceiling. Some have even reported angel feathers being left behind in their services.

I have always wondered, “If gold dust was coming down in abundance, why did they continue to receive an offering?” And if angels lose their feathers, can they fly or do they have to walk back to the celestial throne?

But there we were — purple water in the fountains, in the toilets, and from the faucets. The ice in the ice maker was even the color of a bishop’s shirt! A bishop’s cathedral with purple water everywhere! Was it a supernatural occurrence? If it was, would it mean that other bishops would develop “purple water fever” in a mad desire to have the same occurrence at their cathedrals?

Should we take photographs of the water in the toilets and send them in to the newspapers or to some Christian magazines? Would I be the next celebrity to be featured on Christian television programs? Should I write a book? Could we sell the purple ice cubes? Should we bottle the purple water and offer it to people who would send in a donation to the ministry? Could we develop a course about turning the clear water into purple water? The possibilities were endless.

With all of the claims of the supernatural out there making the rounds, surely it wasn’t so unreasonable. We could even book pilgrimages to our church where pilgrims could splash themselves with “bishop’s water.” Had such an event ever occurred in all of church history? Or human history, for that matter?

But, alas, there was a simpler explanation. It seems that the pump that brought the water from an aquifer had malfunctioned, but the device that put purifying chemicals into the water continued to do so. The purple water, I was told, was simply water that was colored by potassium. As soon as the problem was fixed, the water turned clear again.

So, there was no miracle, no supernatural event, and there would be no “purple water fever,” TV appearances, books, or fame.

However, it did pose another important question. If the potassium turned the water purple, then why is it that bananas are yellow?

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277, between Peachtree City and Newnan. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m.(www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Fellowship in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]

login to post comments | Father David Epps's blog

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Submitted by Bonkers on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 2:54pm.

You are a Bishop. Sure travel a lot--got a big budget, do you?

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 6:05pm.

1. You are old enough to be a knowing eye witness to the CCC. mid 70's or above. Or a liar.
2. You are an atheist and enjoy the mockery that comes from that
3. You have three or more logins on this site that you have used over the past several years.
4. You believe that you are entitled to the fruits of others' labors, and do not care about the lack of justice in that transaction.
5. You possess a faulty logic and a heedless ability to comment upon it.
6. You beieve that the best way to grow an economy is to regulate and tax it. Punish success and award failure.

That's it for now. Please continue to blog troll.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 3:53am.

1. I'm young at heart.
2. If one is Presbyterian it's OK to be an atheist---or, have a Catholic Father nearby at death. What is an atheist---someone who doesn't think as you do? How many are in India? China? Russia? Indonesia? Middle East?
3. One has a right to change blog names does not one? Even if I did such a dastardly thing! "Wedge!"
4. Any honest labor and charge are yours to keep or distribute! Who the heck labors anymore anyway---especially well paid people? They get money anyway.
5. One is either logical or not logical---no such thing as faulty logic--that is an oxymoron! It's just that some aren't interested in that which they didn't think of or know.
6. Well we tried non-regulation lately---it got us a depression. If taxing a millionaire or wealthy people is wrong then go ahead and get it all from working people!

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 7:05pm.

Check your historic time line. The CCC was disbanded in the early 40's. A person in their mid-seventies would be too young to be aware of it.

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 7:36pm.

many other things concerning that time. I remember the CCC boys more through my sisters who were considerably older than me, they were dating age and some of those CCC boys were very cute. When something has a great impact on your life (at least in my case) you remember them. I remember December 7 and Pearl Harbor--I remember the news on the radio and the horror exhibited by my parents and neighbors. I knew a terrible thing had happened and I could tell even at that age that life would be different--and it was scary. Now, I think Bonkers served in the Continental Army so he would have much more memories of the past than I do. LOL

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 7:56pm.

You're just six years older than I am - and I too remember Pearl Harbor and the blackouts. (We lived on the west coast) The CCC was a little before my time. . .but the fear of being attacked was very, very real,

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 8:57pm.

will be 76 the first week of new year. I had said 76 because it was easier than 75 11/12 LOL. If you are six years younger you would be 70, right? Were you born in 1939? Must be a mix-up somewhere or my math is worse than I thought because my calculations would make you two on December 7, 1941.

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 10:57pm.

Your math is right on!! Smiling I was two - and like you I knew that something was terribly wrong. All of our streets were dark (black) and my folks were in front of the Philco radio (no TV) listening to the news. I remember that - and falling off our front porch while in my
'walker' - some of those traumatic things just seem to stick. My folks then took me to a 'show' (movie theater) where we watched the newsreels regarding the 'war'. I'm sure that I also remember this because it was 'talked about' so much for years after 1941. At the end of the war - I thought that there would be no more 'news' programs - since that is all I remember hearing on our Philco.

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 9:09pm.

I also turned 2 just before Pearl Harbor. Have absolutely no recollection of that. Do remember rationing and in fact have a ration coupon book. Remember the end of the war and relatives returning home.

dawn69's picture
Submitted by dawn69 on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 10:16am.

Well, I am considerably younger than you all; but, I do remember that my grandmother used to hoard sugar. She told me of how sugar had been rationed and that she was never going to do without sugar again as long as she lived.

I was 2-3 years old when my parents and I were stationed at Oahu. Many don't know that there is an army base there. And, despite being so little, I do remember the mountains at Kole (spelling?) pass and my dad telling me that that was where the Japanese planes came from. I also have a vague recollection of the little VW bug my parents drove.

We just checked my grandfather into the Christian City convelescence center yesterday. He is 88. It is so hard to see a man that was once so vibrant and energetic wasting away into fragility and dementia. I was stricken, yesterday watching him being fed, by how sad it is that the greatest generation is leaving us. You guys are part of that great generation.

"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller

Submitted by Davids mom on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 6:44pm.

My mom will be 99 Thursday. We also are witnessing a decline in a women who accomplished so much in life. She still recognizes family - and still feeds and dresses herself. I want to keep her with me here at home as long a possible. She has been such a role model to our family. She graduated from UCLA in 1932 - (long before Affirmative Action). She retired from a teaching career - and then did volunteer work for Head Start. Her passion was/is teaching young children the joy of learning. As we look at history - especially American history - all generations exhibited bravery, courage, and greatness. Your generation is the hope of our continued success as a country.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 4:11am.

this place is occupied by old foogies!

Submitted by MYTMITE on Sun, 12/13/2009 - 10:44pm.

Age doesn't determine an old 'foogie' but outlook does and your outlook definitely qualifies you.

Submitted by Bonkers on Mon, 12/14/2009 - 5:25am.

You don't know that!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.