Purity Publications

Five Alive


Chapter 35

by L. H. Hall

Christianity Oasis Ministry

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

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Five Alive
Chapter 35


We were not in any hurry to get up the following morning. We awoke dreading Sarah's impending exile, and lay in each other's arms until our bodies ached from the bed. In all our years on the island, it was the first time I had still been in bed when the sun peeped over the jungle. We skipped breakfast and went to the beach. The dolphins, were glad to see us and eager to play. We let them throw us around for a while before we rode down to the cove to see if Jamie was there. I wanted to assure him that we were well, and that I would join him after Sarah left, but he was not in sight.

The sun was still in the eastern sky when our stomachs reminded us that we had cheated them out of breakfast. We returned to the cave for an early lunch. Then, we awaited the inevitable pain in the stomach that was Sarah's signal to leave. The afternoon wore on, and turned into evening and the warning signal did not come. At sundown Sarah smiled as a light suddenly beamed from in her eyes. "C'mere." She led me to the double lounge, "I want to tell you something."

"Yeah. What?"

When I was seated, she sat facing me, leaning back on my legs. "I've been puzzled all afternoon because the pains in my stomach didn't start. They always start about noon, but they haven't started."

"Do you think us being married might have something to do with it?"

"I think--maybe--it has everything to do with it. I think I remember a big girl saying something in the rest room at school when I was little."

"What's that?"

"Timmy, would you still love me if I was big and fat like Tina Jergens?"

"You could never be that fat, but I would love you no matter what you looked like. Remember what I said in our wedding vows, I will love you always, no matter what you look like."

"Even if I had a big fat belly that stuck out to here?" She held her hands out in a circle a foot away from her belly.

"Even if your belly stuck out that far." Then I remembered the big bellies on the goats before the kids were born, and I corrected myself. "I'd love you even more if your belly stuck clear out there."

"I'm not sure, but maybe--I remember that big girl in school saying she wanted to have a baby so she wouldn't have to go through that every month. She said women don't get sick like that when they're pregnant. Would you mind if we had a baby?"

"No!!!" I screamed. "When will you know for sure?"

"I don't know. Maybe, I'm just slow starting this time, but I never have been before. My stomach always hurts Wednesday afternoon and I need to be in the ravine before bedtime."

"Lets go tell everybody! We're gonna have a baby!"

"No! Silly! We can't tell'em yet. We gotta wait 'til we're sure."

I grabbed her, and kissed her. "We can tell'em, 'Maybe.' Besides, the girls will be expecting you. They might think we drowned in the crater."

"Yeah, I hadn't thought of that. I'd better go tell them I'm okay. I just haven't gotten sick yet."

"I'll go with you to the ridge. It'll be getting dark soon."

"Okay, but just to the ridge. I don't want to embarrass them. Debbie was awfully embarrassed that time you and Jamie came down there."

"We didn't know anything was different. I just thought she wanted a soft cushion to sit on, like the grass mattresses we make at the lake."

"She knew, and that was embarrassing."

I could hear the girls screaming and laughing from where I waited for Sarah on the ridge. I pictured them with their arms around each other in a circle, jumping up and down, and dancing round and round. Sarah had obviously told them what she suspected.

We returned in time to watch the bats come out. It was fully dark when the dogs got excited, and Jamie came panting out of the cave. "What happened to you? I've been expecting you all afternoon. How come you're not in the ravine, Sarah? Ain't this the day you always go?"

"I didn't have to go today?"

"How come?"

"I don't know for sure, but I don't think pregnant women have to go to the ravine."

"Pregnant women? Does that mean you're gonna have a baby?"

"Pregnant women have babies, but I am not sure I'm pregnant. I just might be. All I know is that I didn't have to go to the ravine, today."

"And you couldn't expect me to leave my beautiful bride to join the likes of you when it wasn't necessary, could you?"

"No. Of course not, but I got worried when you didn't show up by dusk. The dumb whales weren't around. I had to swim across the cove entrance and run all the way up here, only to find you two lovers sitting here casually making love talk. It makes me sick. I wore myself out for nothing!"

"Sorry, Jamie," I apologized. "We didn't figure it out ourselves until just before dark. We went over and told the girls, but it was too far for us to go down to the lakes tonight."

"I understand. Congratulations, Ma." He bent over and gave Sarah a kiss on the cheek. "And you too, Pa."

"I am not your Ma! And Don't you ever call me that again!" Sarah snapped at him. "You can call me Mom, or Momma, or Sarah, or even Mother, if you want, but don't you ever let me hear you call me and Timmy, Ma and Pa, or Mammy and Pappy again. My mother didn't like those names, and neither do I?"

"Okay! Okay! Why don'tcha like'em?"

"I don't know, except my momma slapped my mouth for calling her that one time, and I don't like'em."

"I didn't know. I read it in one of the books and thought it sounded cute," he apologized, but added, "Now I know how to tease you, and get you riled."

"You'd better not!" She jumped and ran after him with her fists doubled ready to fight.

"Okay! Okay! I here ya. MA! He ran off the cliff in feigned fear of her.

She followed him into the darkness of the night. I went to the edge of the patio, but I couldn't see much. They wrestled around in the water a few minutes, and started up the path together, laughing, with their arms around each other. I met them at the edge of the patio where it meets the trail.

"Here she is, Dad, I brought 'er back to you. I don't want'er. She hits too hard."

"Just so you never hit back," I warned, laughing.

"You know I wouldn't hit her or one of the girls, except maybe little love taps, when I'm teasing them." He gave her a little hug before he released her. "And, by the way, Mom, will you do me a big favor?"

"What's that, Son?" Sarah poked him again.

"Get me a little brother. There's already too many women on this island."

"No promises. What will be, will be."

Sarah's stomach pains did not come that day, or the next. The girls came back from the ravine. Sarah still did not have to go. About the time the girls made their next trip into exile, Sarah had started missing breakfast. More and more often, she did not feel well in the mornings. The very sight or smell of the breakfast on the spit sent her running toward the toilet. Usually it was to far away and we had a mess to clean up. She did not have to visit the ravine that month, or the next or the next, and a few more. As the days and weeks past, she began to feel like eating breakfast again, in fact, she wanted to eat all the time. Like my mother used to accuse me, I began to think she was hollow all the way to her feet. She did not seem to gain much weight, except in the tummy, and it did not get much bigger for a while.

I was beginning to think it was a false alarm until one night we were lying awake, talking, and Sarah put my hand on her tummy. It moved under my hand. I jerked my hand back. "It's all right, Daddy. He's just saying, 'Hello.'" She put my hand back on her. It moved again.

"How long's he been doing that?"

"I've sensed it a little bit for quite a while, but it's only been strong enough to feel like that for a few days."

"Is it supposed to do that?"

"I'm sure it is. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be doing it. Stop worrying. God's taking care of this baby. Everything's just like it's supposed to be."

"Aren't you glad we have Him to depend on?" I rubbed her tummy tenderly.

"If we didn't, I would be a nervous wreck. I'd be scared to death. Can you imagine what it would be like for me, growing up here, on this island with no pregnant women around. With no one who knows anything about having babies except what we've seen of the dogs and goats. I'm certainly not going to lick my baby clean, or chew off his cord."

"What are we going to do?"

"A long time ago--maybe it was the first time we were on Top of the World. I think it was, but I'm not sure. You told me if I ever needed God to talk to me, He would, and I would have total confidence in what he said."

"I think I remember. It seems like you had asked me how I could be so confident about things I say." I felt our son move again.

"Yeah, I think so. Over the years I have learned, just like you and the others have, that God always tells us what to do when we need it. When this baby does something I don't understand, Jesus lets me know it's all right; that it's the way it's supposed to be. When the time comes, He'll tell one of us what we're supposed to do at just the right time. I'm as confident of that, as I am that you love me, or that God is real."

"Isn't God great?" I squeezed her close to me.

We had known from the beginning that our baby was a boy. That's what Jamie had ordered, and although Sarah had not promised, that's what we planned to have so we men would not be outnumbered. "Imagine, if it happened to be a girl, we'd be outnumbered two to one!" He exclaimed, one day when we were gathering a supply of firewood.

I let it pass. I too wanted a son, but I would be happy with whatever God gave us. After all I was the head of the family, and king of the island so my vote out numbered all of theirs. I did not push it or abuse my authority, but when I made a decision it was accepted. On rare occasions my error was pointed out to me by any of the four. Often I realized it was my error, but if I did not, they complied with my wishes. Sarah had proved many times that she would support me, even when she really thought I was wrong. Sometimes I regretted my obstinacy, but no one ever chided me or said, "See, I told you so." They were tolerant and knew I did my best. They also knew that God had set me in charge of the family, and that I tried to find His wisdom in every major decision. We could not have survived if I had not.

Memorial day that year, was a celebration, the anniversary of the day I had finally agreed to marry Sarah. I jokingly told them if I had it to do all over, I would have done it seven years sooner. Then added, "We should have waited at least five more years." I got a fist in the stomach when I said that. Sarah was always using my stomach as a punching bag, but the only time she ever hurt was that morning after I had teased her so much about Tina Jergens.

It was such an important occasion. Sarah used one of the old, worn out, holey sheets we had found in the chest, when we first arrived, for a table cloth.

Thanksgiving Day we again observed the Thanksgiving rule. We only discussed our miracles and things that would give glory to God. Our beautiful wedding, and Little Billy, as we called him, were the big miracles of the year. Jamie had cut his foot with a machete, and it had healed almost overnight. It happened the day after they had come back from the wedding. We did not even know about it until the girls had come back from the ravine the first time after our return. The girls had taken his foot in their hands and prayed for it. By the next morning it had looked like little more than a bad scratch. I recounted the many, many miracles in my life, and how God had helped me in making decisions. Sarah and the girls marveled at how fresh the flowers for the wedding had remained for as much as a week. They admitted keeping them in the lake. Even so, normally, they would have wilted in the heat. When the most recent miracles had been remembered, we looked back over the years: to Sarah's remarkable return from death's door after she had been burned; how the Lord had taught us to build the goat pen and the furniture; our relationship with the dolphins; and how they had saved us. Things like that, we would never forget.

Sarah's petite girlish figure had vanished. I told her she looked like a long legged pot belly stove, and got hit in the stomach as a result. She was so big in February; it did not seem possible she still had over two more months to go. The days were beginning to drag, as they had for us the year before. We tried to stay busy and keep our minds on other things, but we often wondered if the time would ever come. She decided that she needed two more rockers before the baby was born, one for the bedroom and one for the patio so she would not have to be dragging the one we had from place to place. She also reminded me that the baby would need a cradle to sleep in. After he was born he would need to have lots of moss that we could discard when it got dirty, because we had nothing to put on his bottom.

I suggested using what was left of the sheets. She got the best one and showed me how thin and rotten it was. The sheets were good for bandages if we had a good vine to tie them on with but nothing else. The blankets, too, were old and rotten, and far too scratchy for the baby's tender skin. She assured me, we had nothing to dress our son in. We would wrap him in large leaves, with soft moss and grass; to help absorb his discharges.

"Maybe we'll be found before he is born," I suggested. "It's about time for them to find us. Your mother told Julie that she might almost be grown. She's thirteen, now. That's almost grown."

"You and I are almost grown, Timmy. Do you know that we're still young enough, they might say our wedding wasn't for real, and separate us, especially if they find us before the baby is born."

"I hadn't even thought of that! There wouldn't be anything we could do about it, at least, for a couple more years."

"If anybody does come, I'll to go to the ravine and hide, 'til they're gone," she decided.

"I don't think my parents would separate us now. If I remember what they were like. If they found you pregnant with my child, we'd get married whether we wanted to, or not. I don't know whether they would accept our wedding, but if they didn't, Dad would marry us, just so the baby would have a father. He might whip all the skin off my bottom, but we WOULD get married."

"I don't know what my folks would do, but I still don't want to be separated from Jamie. I think it would kill me."

"Sarah, we are nearly grown now. They can't separate any of us for too many years. They are strangers to us. They would almost have to put us in prison to separate us for long. I'm a Christian, and I'm supposed to honor my parents, but I would have to honor my vows to you first. I would run away to be with you."

"What if they wouldn't let you know where they took me?"

"That might be a problem, but you could always find us by calling the mission board. You could write to me and let me know where your were, and I would come to you. We haven't been found yet, so don't worry about it."

"I guess God knows whether they would separate us or not, and I know he recognizes our marriage. He won't let them find us until we're old enough, so they can't separate you and me, at least."

"I know you're right, dear Sarah," We had been worrying over nothing; relying on our own abilities, or lack of them, instead of looking to Him for assurance.

"Timmy," we have never talked about our experiences on the Top of the World, because we believed we experienced the same thoughts and feelings. May I ask you something about the wedding?"

"Of course. You can ask me about anything. I don't mind talking to you about our experiences, now that we're married. I didn't want to talk about them before because I thought we were too young to be so much in love. I was afraid if we talked about them, we might do things we shouldn't. You'll never know how much I wanted to hold you in my arms, way back when we were nine and ten years old. That first day at the lakes, just before Sheba killed the nanny, we got really serious. Remember? You asked me if I thought it was love. I wanted to hold you so close and tell you that I knew it was love, but all I could say was, 'We're to young for that stuff.' If I hadn't, we would never have been able to wait until we were married, to enjoy the privileges reserved for marriage."

"I know," she said. "I've thought about that conversation a lot of times. I thought at first you didn't care, but after my ninth birthday, I knew you did care, and why you didn't want to talk about it."

"What did you want to know about the wedding?"

"After you started praying, and all through the ceremony did you feel like you were floating?"

"Yes, Sarah. About the time in the prayer when I said 'We present ourselves to each other,' I felt like some warm--force filled us, and we rose about three feet above the rock. We sort of hovered there, until I kissed you . . ."

"And while we were kissing we slowly settled back until our feet were on the rock again." She finished the sentence for me. "That is the same experience I had."

"Yes, that was when we came down."

"I wonder if the others knew."

"I'm sure they would have said something if they had."

"I've been tempted to ask Debbie, but I'm afraid she'd think I'm nuts"

"Don't ask them. We know where we were."

"Yes! In the hollow of God's hand."

"Yes. And that isn't the first time we have been there either."

"No," she agreed. "That is the only rock I've ever slept on that felt like a soft."

"Warm cloud." I finished her sentence. "We really did experience the same feelings and thoughts."

"I knew we did"

"I did too, and I knew you did."

In the following days and weeks Jamie and I spent many hours in the jungles looking for perfect curved limbs for the rockers that Sarah had asked for. We had found two that would work, but they did not match closely enough to be used on the same chair. With each of us carrying one for comparison we searched every day for several days, only to come home in the evening with nothing.

One day while the girls were in the ravine, Sarah had gone to spend the day with them, while we searched the ravines to the West.

"Why don't Sarah have to go to the ravine anymore?" Jamie asked.

"I don't know. That's just the way their bodies work, I guess. When they get pregnant, the embarrassment stops until after the baby is born."

"Did you ever find out what is so embarrassing to them. When we took the furniture down there to Debbie, I didn't see anything that would be embarrassing."

"The very fact that we were there, and saw her in her condition was embarrassing."

"Why? What condition? She seemed all right to me."

"She didn't get up, did she? and did you see what she was sitting on?" I asked

"Yeah, she had a grass cushion in a chair."

"Did you ever wonder why? She never puts grass in her chair at home, does she?"

"I guess she wanted something soft to sit on. We sleep on a pile of grass when we sleep at Lake Four."

"After Sarah ran away to the ravine that first time, I practically forced her to tell me. I felt as the leader of the family I needed to know if there was something wrong with her. She didn't go into detail, only that when girls become women, embarrassing things happen in their bodies. If they were in the normal world, they could go to the store and get what they need to hide it, but out here the only thing they can think of to do is to hide during that time. Sarah asked me not to tell you anymore than I had to, to keep you from asking embarrassing questions. That's what I did."

"What happens to them? Do you know?"

"After we got married, Sarah filled in the details of what happens, but not why. I don't think she knows. The night she discovered she didn't have to make her scheduled trip to the ravine, she remembered hearing some older girls talking in the rest room at school about pregnant women not getting sick, as they call it. All she knew about any of it was what she overheard those girls talking about. I guess she was so young; her mother hadn't prepared her for womanhood."

"Do they really get sick?"

"I guess they get awful bad stomach cramps, and their back hurts sometimes. I examined a potential rocker. "You've heard them mention that their stomach hurts before they go."

"Yeah, I remember that, but I still don't see what there is to be embarrassed about."

"I don't know if I will be breaking my promise to Sarah, or not. In fact, I think I said 'I couldn't promise, but that I wouldn't tell you more than I had to. You're older, now. I think you're wise enough to keep it to yourself and never mention it to any of the girls, but you have to promise."

"I promise."

"I'll tell you what I know." I went on to explain to him what I knew of the details of the girls frequent problems.

"I guess that would be embarrassing," he said when I had finished. "Of course, I'll never mention it to them. I wouldn't humiliate them. I care too much for them."

"I knew you would feel that way. That's why I was able to tell you."

"What will happen after the baby is born? Won't Sarah have a big problem for a while? Is she going to take the baby to the ravine?"

"I hadn't thought about it. That's a problem that will probably last for a lot longer than a few days. I don't know what she will do, but I don't want to be cut out of the first few days of my son's life. Maybe I can talk her into staying in our room as much as possible."

"I'd like to be able to see my baby brother, too, but I could stay at Lake Four or the cove 'til she gets over it." Jamie volunteered.

"I'll talk to her about it, and let you know what she wants."

"What happens if the baby comes while the girls are at the ravine?" Jamie posed another question I had not thought of.

"I don't know. I sure wouldn't know what to do."

"Sure you would. Doesn't God always help us when we can't help ourselves? Debbie and Julie are frightened too. We were talking about it the other day. I told them not to fret over it. God would be there with them to instruct them. They will know what to do, and when to do it, when the time comes. You know, you and Sarah aren't the only ones to hear from the Lord. He talks to the rest of us, too."

"Thanks, Jamie." I put my arm around him, resting my hand on his shoulder. "You are wise beyond your years. I need to be reminded sometimes. I am so prone to try to figure things out on my own. I forget to listen to the Holy Spirit."

"It's not me. Give credit where credit is due. I don't know anything."

"I know, Jamie, but you listen, and sometimes I forget to."

It took a few more days and a few more miles of walking and slashing our way through the jungle, but we finally found two matched pairs of rockers for Sarah's chairs.

The night after Jamie and I had our conversation in the jungle, I talked to Sarah about it. "What are we going to do if the girls are in the ravine when the baby comes?"

"Well, you and Jamie will help me, of course." She didn't even hesitate. It was already settled in her mind.

"Don't you think the girls ought to do that?"

"I want them to help if they are here. I certainly want you to be with me, and I don't want Jamie to be left out if he doesn't do anything but hold my hand."

"But, I thought . . ."

"With as little as we have to cover ourselves, we are a family without modesty. I am proud of my baby. I think his, or her, birth should be a family affair. If I were to die in childbirth, I would want you all to be there."

"You're not going to die! God snatched me away from my parents and made me grow up really fast. He surely wouldn't take you away from me and leave me to raise my son alone."

"I know he wouldn't. I have no fear of that." She seemed perfectly at ease. "There is one thing that worries me."

"What's that?"

"Would you really mind terribly if your son is a daughter?"

"Of course not, especially if she looks just like her mother. We could name her Baby Sarah."

"No that wouldn't be wise. She won't be a baby all her life," she mused. "Can you imagine a fifty year old woman called 'Baby'?"

We laughed. "That's not exactly what I meant."

"That's what you said," she teased. "Why don't you say what you mean?"

"All right. We could name her, Sarah Lee Davis Junior. and call her Junie."

"I like Deborah Julia Davis better. If he's a boy, as we expect, he'll be Timothy James, after the two most important men in my life. We'll call him Jimmy."

"Jamie would like that. I think he is looking forward to the baby almost as much as we are, and he will be ecstatic that you want him to be part of the delivery."

"I know he will. That's why I want him with us. I thought about it for a long time before I made my decision. I couldn't help thinking how lonely he would be, sitting in the main cave alone, worrying while rest of us were in here where the action was going on. I made the decision several months ago and I have never regretted it, or had any desire to change my mind. And I want to have the baby outside on the table rock, where God won't have to look down through all this rock."

"I figured you might want to have him on Top of the World."

"Sure!" She laughed. "I can hardly walk. Can't you just see me climbing the mountain? or do you expect to carry me up there? That's a big rock, but I wouldn't want to take a chance of somebody falling into the jungle. with our baby in his arms Besides, the Top of the World is our place and our place alone, not our children's."

"What are you going to do after the baby's born?"

"What do you mean?"

"There will be a lot of bleeding for a while, won't there? Do you plan to take the baby to the ravine?"

"Of course not! That would be ridiculous!"

"But I thought . . ."

"Silly, when a person cuts himself, he is expected to bleed. There won't be anything embarrassing about the after effects of childbirth. I will keep myself as clean as possible, and maybe stay in our room more than usual. Other than that, I think life will be normal. Of course, the baby will require a lot of my attention. That will be different from now, but normal for then. When I start my cycles again, I'll probably take him to the ravine."

"I think that is being ridiculous."

"Maybe, but you're not a woman."

"And thank God!"

"Yeah, I thank Him too. If you were, you couldn't be my husband. I would have to be an old maid, and would never be a mother. I would never, never let anyone but you touch me."

Copyright © 1995
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.

Copyright © 2000-2023 All Rights Reserved.


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