Chapter Nine, Pauline receives a blow
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live . . . Deuteronomy 30:19
That evening, the wind was sweeping through the beech and maple trees and making their leaves rustle. Pauline loved the windy autumn days, and the nights when the moon shone brightly. She loved to walk in the evenings as long as the wind was not cold. It made her think of pumpkin pie, apple crisp, and hazelnut chai latte. But what was the purpose of the wind? Spreading seeds around, she supposed. Helping the birds to fly. Changing the weather.
Funny how people always talked about the weather. How do you like the snow? Hot enough for you? We sure need rain. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. Get used to it people. We get what we get. Only now Al Gore and the scientists say we are changing the world’s climate by our harmful actions to the environment.
Sitting on their new patio with a latte now, she remembered when she used to walk across campus at night in her first year of college, before she knew how dangerous that could be. She wore a poncho that swirled around her in the wind and made her feel mysterious. She felt then that she could do anything, anything at all. Pauline then thought to herself about the conversations at Lutheran church and after. What would she have done if someone had come to her to stop her looking into new age practices when she was interested? Would she have listened? It used to seem so harmless. The devil is a liar and, in fact, the father of lies. She didn’t remember one single person trying to talk to her about that. But if Father God would provide the words, she would let Him use her as a mouthpiece now, to try to undo any harm she did during that period. Ironic that one of the occult laws was to do what you will, when anyone can see that could only breed chaos by eliminating the concept of right and wrong, simply by virtue of what it was and whose it was. Nothing good can come from Satan, she knew now that was true. How could anyone choose evil over good, she wondered. But they did. They deluded themselves about God and sin and did it anyway.
She watched now as three deer picked their way through the tall grasses and wildflowers in the back yard. Sitting perfectly still, she was able to watch them for a long time. Their gracefulness always amazed her. They had long thin legs and you wouldn’t think the two of them could run and jump like they did, but when they saw her watching them they usually leapt up and were gone in seconds. Small wonder, with hunters prizing their antlers and their tasty lean meat. There was a season for that, and certain locations could not be used for hunting, such as her private property. Truth be told, she loved venison herself. She just could never bring herself to shoot one and would prefer to watch them in the yard. It was probably time to buy a bag of carrots for them to eat. They sold the carrots for hunters, but no one would be hunting on their land.
Animals were sinless, she supposed, because they didn’t have the mind and the conscience that humans had. They couldn’t have the Holy Spirit either. There was not one thing in the Bible about animals being saved. So, Pauline guessed, when they died that was it for them. No heaven or hell, or coming back as anything, that was for certain. She was glad to have the option although it made you responsible for your own sins and ultimate destiny if you didn’t accept Christ. A no brainer in her mind, but not to everyone.
Thinking again about the forbidden pagan sects/occult support and mentoring group, what would be the objective? Education for sure, but prayer support for those caught in the web of the forbidden and for Christians counseling against it. She wondered whether she was the right person to be in that position, but only for a moment. She felt that Father God had called her as someone He had set free, herself, so she knew about the appeal and draw of forbidden occult practices firsthand.
Just then a branch cracked and the deer lifted their heads. Danger! They turned and ran through the dark lush forest. Pauline thought, it’s been a while since I walked back there. She got off her wicker chair and walked carefully to the back of the lot. The deer were long gone, but she looked at the creek babbling past her. She heard another crack and looked up just in time to see a branch from the old willow tree that her father had planted, fall to hit her on the head. She had time to cover her face but not to run.