The Daily Paine

FogGrowing up I remember often that the clouds would roll down covering the mountains.  They were hidden from view and from a distance a person would never know they were there.  However, for sure those mountains were there; they were just obscured by the clouds.  There is an old song of the church that describes the mist and then what happens “When the Mists Have Rolled Away.”

“When the mists have rolled in splendor
From the beauty of the hills,
And the sunlight falls in gladness
On the river and the rills,
We recall our Father’s promise
In the rainbow of the spray:
We shall know each other better
When the mists have rolled away.”
–Annie H. Barker

There was one experience I shall never forget.  Annie and I were driving from Springfield, MO to her place.  At Zanesville, OH we hit some of the worst fog that I’ve ever encountered.  What was normally a three hour drive turned into close to nine.  I tried and get behind a semi and follow his red lights.  If that truck had turned off and into a warehouse I would have gone right in after it.

“Oft we tread the path before us
With a weary, burdened heart;
Oft we toil amid the shadows,
And our fields are far apart:
But the Savior’s ‘Come, ye blessed,’
All our labor will repay,
When we gather in the morning
Where the mists have rolled away.”

The same is often true of life itself.  There is often fog and mists along the trail.  Heaven seems obscured by the cares of this life; it is like Paul wrote that we look through a glass darkly.  One day, yes, one day the way will be completely clear.

“We shall come with joy and gladness,
We shall gather round the throne;
Face to face with those that love us,
We shall know as we are known:
And the song of our redemption
Shall resound thro’ endless day,
When the shadows have departed,
And the mists have rolled away.”

“We shall know as we are known
Nevermore to walk alone,
In the dawning of the morning
Of that bright and happy day,
We shall know each other better,
When the mists have rolled away.”

Echoes from the Campfire

“Nobody ever told me life was easy, and for me it had never been, but I was the stronger because of it.  One learns to succeed by succeeding in small things first.  Mostly a person learns to succeed by simply overcoming failure.”         –Louis L’Amour  (Passin’ Through)

“Listen as wisdom calls out!  Hear as understanding raises her voice!  She stands on the hilltop and at the crossroads.”         –Proverbs 8:1-2 (NLT)

The Saga of Miles Forrest

There was no way I could get my pistol out in time.  The large piece of snake struck, Molly’s eyes widened as she watched the rattler sink its fangs into Tandy’s face.  Tandy was groaning with the two shots from Molly, but now he let out a shriek.
I rushed over and looked.  Glancing at Tandy I first grabbed Molly in her chair and lifted her away from the pieces of snakes.  One of them might accidentally strike at her, and it was a gory sight.  I quickly untied her and she ran toward the kitchen and I heard the back door slam.  Then I untied Hannah and Greta.
“See if you can get Greta to come to.  I’m goin’ to clean up this mess.”  I went to get a shovel and bucket.  The pieces of snake were slowing down in their writhing.
Tandy was looking at me.  He was mouthing, “Please.”
Despite my hatred of snakes I reached down to pull the snake, still attached to his cheek.  One fang was stuck and I wasn’t about to reach down to try and free it.  Finally I took my knife and pushed against the fang and it eventually came out.  It was a mess.  I guess there were at least five snakes.  That ol’ Greener really cut them to pieces.
I pulled Tandy away from the gore and mess.  He just lay there; he must be in terrible pain, and his life was slowly ebbing from him.  Looking around I saw that Hannah had taken Greta out and by this time Molly was making her way back in.  The marshal was taking the other man down to the jail and passed the doctor at the door.
“Everyone all right, Miles?” he asked.
I nodded, “None of us is hurt.  Check the man in the corner and then you should have a look at Tandy here.”
“Looks like the Marshal took care of him.  Now let’s take a look at this fellow.”  He stooped down and the first thing he noticed was the fang marks and the cheek beginning to swell.
“Miles, what happened here?” the doc asked.
“Anything you can do for him?”  I asked.
He shook his head.  “Those bullets are in his gut, and with that snake bite.  It’s just a matter of time.”
“Forrest,” came a gurgling voice.
I looked and Tandy’s eyes widened and then the light was gone.
“Doc, can you take care of him?  I want to do something with these snakes.”
Going over to Molly I asked, “You all right?”
She nodded.  “I was scared; not of Tandy but of the snakes.  I feared what he was going to do to you to bring you hurt.”  She started sobbing slightly.  “I shot him Miles.  I knew I could do it if I had to, but when it actually happened…I, I can’t describe my feelings.”
I reached out to hold her.  “I understand Molly, I surely do.  I know those feelin’s.”
“Do you think you’re up to checkin’ on Greta and Hannah?  I need to get these things taken care of before they get to smellin’ up the place.”
I went on out and walked toward a place back in the woods.  I wanted these things far away and deep.  Snakes, I shuddered, they do something to me.  That gave me a glimpse of the curse put on them way back in the Garden.
It took me a little over thirty minutes to get the job done.  When I came back Molly and Hannah were sitting at the table.  Greta was standing and shaking her head.  Molly took her hand but she pulled away.  I came in the room and she glanced my way and ran out of the room.
I looked at Molly….