Chapter Forty Seven, peace and a new purpose
Winter had come early this year, before Thanksgiving. The snow was beautiful, and her hot flashes made the cold more bearable, but the driving was so dangerous. But there was a lot to love about winter. The snow seemed to insulate the outdoors from noise. The quietest place she knew was in a forest in the winter. There weren’t even leaves on most of the trees that could have rustled. The brook didn’t babble if it got cold enough. And many of the birds had gone south for the winter. The ones that stayed were lovely to see against the white of the snow. People often said the snow cleanses the earth, since everything looked clean and white, and it was beautiful on the trees. It put extra weight on branches of the dead trees in the neighborhood, and she hoped there would be no damage with the storm. Time for another cup of tea. She was safe inside, writing.
When she went out to see her mother, she saw many trees weighted down by the snow. They were gorgeous and she took several photos to upload to Facebook. When she got to her mother’s, mom was sleeping, and she just let her sleep and worked on her knitting. Even though she was supposed to be resting her hands, she thought she would just finish up the few projects she was working on and then quit. She did have quite a basket full of yarn and she did so hate to waste it.
Mom was surprised by the snow when she woke up. It had been snowing all day, but it was an early appearance this year. Pauline usually took her for a walk in nice weather and she told mom that today might not be a good day for that. Mom laughed. Pauline’s heart ached. Mom seemed happy and the nurses always said she was such a joy to work with, but Pauline knew she missed Dad and her house and doing her normal routines like baking and cooking for the family. She didn’t know what she would do when Mom was gone too. Mom kept her very busy but gave her a sense of purpose. She would miss her terribly but her life would change drastically when mom was gone. She would have more time on her hands and could pursue a lot of other things--things that maybe she should let alone for now. She would have more time to write, and to plant the garden.
There was a time when Pauline had tried many hobbies. She had painted with oil paints for a while, but her best paintings were copies of masters. She tried abstracts and enjoyed that but now had enough paintings to fill her walls. She had tried macramé, knitting and crochet which she still did, jewelry making, and now writing. She usually gave a gift of whatever she was making that year for Christmas to friends and family members. Or sometimes she would bake for them.
She wondered about her family. Had any of them ever been involved in the occult? She could not think of any but her brother had owned the Ouija board. She didn’t remember him ever playing with it. He was more of a BB gun and army men boy. He was a boy scout and enjoyed the camping trips. There was an uncle by marriage, who may have been involved in the Masons or something related to them, but she would probably never ask him. Was it worthwhile to remember if there was any family connection? She was not sure that it would be.
What was the bottom line why God forbade witchcraft and mediumship? Not that she needed a reason, but Pauline wondered this sometimes. Pauline thought it was about control. Trying to control your own life rather than allowing God his due, despite your inconvenience. Or something like yoga was another example. Yoga was not specifically called out in the Bible, but it was definitely connected with Hinduism and its practices. With its many different gods, Hinduism was definitely not for the Christian and neither was yoga. But if you only did it for the exercise, did it hurt anyone? The harm it did was not so much tied to the exercise, but rather to the fact that God forbade any other gods and gospels. Just say no! Pauline said to herself.
What about herbal medicine? For some reason this was tied to witchcraft. Again, this could be tied to taking control of your own health, although how was herbal medicine different from eating your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day?
Someday she would do a study on water. Jesus is called the living water, and water is vital to our survival. He is vital too of course, as she well knew. But there seemed to be a deeper connection than that. Moses struck a rock and water gushed out for the Israelites. That water was said to be Jesus. Jesus told lepers to bathe in a river and they were healed of leprosy. Baptism with water is commanded of Christians. We are to be born of water and the spirit. Moses was instructed by God to part the Red Sea by holding up his staff. Moses himself had been placed in a basket in the river as an infant to hide him from the Pharaoh who would kill baby boys to try to eliminate the Messiah. David saw Bathsheba when she was bathing and took her. How many times is water mentioned in the Bible, she wondered, and then did a quick search in her Bible software app. It is mentioned 396 times in the King James Bible and has several metaphorical meanings including spiritual cleansing.
Pauline often wished she worked for a more spiritual company. She should not complain-they did allow the employees to hold a Bible study at work, after all. But she still didn’t feel its members could confront each other spiritually or do any form of preaching. What could she do to provide a more spiritual atmosphere at the workplace? She often thought about this and yet didn’t know what to do about it. She wished she did.
One thing she and her co-workers enjoyed was shopping at Goodwill on their lunch break. There were several Goodwill stores in the area and some of the girls were old enough to take advantage of the senior discount. When Pauline didn’t need any more things for herself, she began to look for Christmas gifts or birthday gifts for her friends. She often found Christmas decorations too and today was no exception. There was a Christmas sweater, to wear to the lunch at work, and a 5 foot high plastic molded nativity scene. Pauline had been wanting one of these and today was the day! She loaded it all into her car.
Hey, where are we going to sit? Said her friends, laughing.
Pauline was glad she had these friends. Work life could be difficult at times and laughter helped so much. She decided to tell them about her support group. She didn’t think any of them needed deliverance, but you just never know.