No Guidance – No Help
Easterly wasn’t a praying man. If his mama knew he’d lapsed from his “do-rights,” she’d be disappointed, maybe ashamed.
He’d slipped from the faith when there seemed to be no benevolent Father helping him. No magical, comfortable, paths were laid out before him. It was the opposite. Nature conspired to make him miserable in the two days following the flood. Saturated air spit cold drops of water chilling his bare arms to goosebumps. At the same time, the gash in his foot burned. If something was at work here, it was evil, not good.
Make A Deal
Still, there was no other place for Easterly to turn. His bargaining began: If You heal my foot, I’ll take better care of the animals I ride; if You help me find my wagon and all my gear, I’ll say grace before every meal; if You make everything like it was before the flood, I’ll read the Book every Sunday.
Easterly struggled upright, hopping on his uninjured foot.
He prayed for a crutch.
In a clump of high-water debris, he pulled out a branchless limb for a walking stick. It was far from perfect for his wants. Thick enough to lean on and as tall as his waist, the little pole enabled him to move with awkward effort. His unsupported leg felt the strain.
Proof that prayer didn’t work.
Easterly held the limb in a two-handed grip on his injured side. Leaning and hopping he continued up the wash.
The need to observe a safe landing spot for his foot as well as a secure place to set his stick slowed his progress. After struggling for what seemed a half hour, Easterly looked back and could see his starting point about three hundred yards away.
Epiphany of Bad News
Realization hit Easterly in the stomach. He wasn’t going to walk out of here no matter how hard he tried, no matter how hard he prayed. Profound fatigue radiated throughout his body. He barely had enough strength to lower himself to the gravel bed of the wash.
Next to the bank was an overhanging creosote bush. He thought about trying to crawl under its branches to get away from the persistent raindrops.
Rest first, though. Easterly’s hands and hip ached from the effort of walking with the branch. His sleeve/bandage was redder with blood. The foot must be elevated.
Easterly pulled a few rocks out of the gravel to smooth the area and sprawled on his back. His bent leg provided a high spot for his cut foot when he placed it over the knee.
Using his hands for a pillow, Easterly closed his eyes. How could one little moment of time bring him to this? A few minutes earlier and he would have been across the wash before it flooded. A few minutes later and he could have waited for the water to go down.
But he was in the middle when the headwaters hit.
Was this indeed God-Forsaken country?
Even if he lost his life here, Mama would scold him for abandoning the faith. She had seen hard times and never doubted. She provided strong support through all of his childhood trials.
Easterly wished to see his mother again. He could hear her calling him in for dinner.
That’s funny. Why was Mama calling him by his last name?
Is Easterly delusional? Leave a comment.
DISCLAIMER. Easterly took this post in an unexpected turn. His opinions are not always those of the author. If people become philosophical when contemplating eternity, let’s forgive him his – and our – perceptions.
Perhaps Easterly could benefit from this article that wonders if prayer really works.
To read the series, click on September 2017, in the Archive list and start with Tales Old Roy Told.
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