by L. H. Hall
eating some food from the table by this time, and drinking goat's
milk. Sarah usually nursed her a couple times a day to continue the
rapport they had, but she skipped a breast feeding occasionally. We
had visited the Top of the Word several times in our minds, and
physically climbed the mountain twice since Deejay's dedication, but
what had been promised to be her last birthday on the island, was
rapidly approaching. The Top of the World had not been mentioned.
A few nights
before she was seventeen, I asked, "Do you still want to climb the
mountain on your birthday, Sarah?"
like to. It will probably be the last time we'll be able to do it,
and it is still the most special place in the world. We were
married, and we dedicated Deejay up there."
you would. I've been planing on it for a year but, I wanted to make
mind, do you?"
"I would be
disappointed if you didn't."
the baby early in the afternoon, and gave her to Debbie to care for,
promising to be back by noon the next day. Deejay fussed a little,
when we started through the goat pen without her. She loved to go,
but she loved her big brother and sisters. She would be all right
by the time we were out of sight.
the summit just before the top of the rim of the sun dropped below
the horizon. We jumped into the pool to wash some of the sweat and
dirt off; then, we went directly to the Top of the World, to eat our
cold supper and watch the night close in. The sky to the North was
dark and dreary with distant flasnes of lightning. "It looks like a
storm over there." I sliced off a wedge of a mango. "I hope it
doesn't come this way."
"The wind is
from the other direction; I think we'll be all right." Sarah took
the portion I offered.
I'd surely hate to be up here in one of those bad storms."
them have ever knocked the Top of the World down yet, and I know God
wouldn't allow it if we were in the shelter."
a lot of confidence."
shouldn't I have, after what we've been through. We'll be alive and
well when we are discovered. Besides I have Jesus in my heart. I
can never die. I have life eternal."
"I think I
have made a fanatic out of you." I teased her, laughing.
believing the Word of God makes me a fanatic, I am proud to be
one." She stood up. "HEY, WORLD, I, SARAH LEE DAVIS, AM A FANATIC
BECAUSE I BELIEVE EVERY WORD OF THE BIBLE, AND LIVE BY IT!!!" She
sat down laughing, "There! How about that? Does that satisfy you?"
"I am glad
you are. I'm proud of you. So often you make me ashamed of myself
because I forget."
She accepted another slice of the mango. "When I forget, I always
have you or one of the others to remind me. I don't know what I
will do when the others aren't around all the time, but even if they
had been born to us, and we had raised them out there someplace, it
wouldn't be long before they would leave us. We can't hold them
prisoner on this island, as much as I would like to. I don't know
what He has in mind for us, but He didn't give us this special
training for us to be cooped up on this little island, and not be
able to use it for His service."
you're right, Sarah, but how can five people, ignorant to the ways
of the world, function in that world."
were taken out of that world to be raised in this manner; so, we can
go back into it and help improve it"
here, we've been shielded from temptation. Now we'll have to face
it and overcome it." I threw the mango pit into the jungle below.
tempt you before we were married? I was sure tempted to seduce
you. Don't you think Jamie and the girls are tempted, even though
they think of each other as a bother or sisters? You bet we have
way, yes, but out there in the other world, there are so many
different kinds of temptations, that we're not used to, or even know
about." I ate the last of the mango.
"And we are
used to depending on the Holy Spirit and following His guidance.
That's not going to stop when we get out there. If I had any doubt
about that, I'd die before I would ever leave these shores. We know
who our God is, and where He is; and we know how to hear his voice.
We'll be all right out there." Sarah drank from her canteen
you said you were scared to go out there."
natural I am. I'm scared silly. I have prayed that our parents
will come here where we feel comfortable to get acquainted with us.
If they can't, or refuse to come, or if we're wrong about them being
alive, I'll leave this island in a minute in the protection of my
heavenly Father, who will not leave me, nor forsake me."
ought to be a preacher."
"I AM! And
don't you ever forget it!" She laughed.
dark sky in the North, the night was the darkest we had ever seen
from that vantage point. A thin moon was rising in the East, but
didn't replace the light from the stars in the north. The fire on
the patio was burning brightly. Usually by that hour, it would have
died down, but it looked as if someone had just added wood to it.
"I wonder if there is something wrong at the cave." I pointed it
out to Sarah. "Do you think they're trying to get our attention?"
think so. If there was something wrong, we would know about it."
know when Jamie cut his foot."
needed either. The Lord took care of it, and he can take care of
this too if there's a problem, whatever it is. We were probably
paying too much attention to each other to hear that still small
voice when Jamie got hurt, or we would have known it."
right on both counts. If there's a problem, He'll have to take care
of it. It's too dangerous to go down in the dark."
said, pointing toward the sky. "Aren't those funny stars?"
"I looked at
the stars, slightly north of us, moving steadily in an westerly
direction. "Now I know why the fire is so bright."
nine years, we have never seen an airplane fly over. We have just
been discovered. It may take a few months for them to get here. My
mother's up there, and she knows we're here. Dad thinks we're dead,
but sooner or later, he'll come just to pacify Mother. I remember
our first trip up here I was talking to the Lord, He said, '. . .
Your parents will find you,' and that is exactly what He meant."
Jesus." She snuggled close to me. "My parents will be with them.
Our folks are coming to our island, just like I prayed they would."
We never questioned it. We both knew that neither of us would have
said it, if we did not know it was true. "Lets pray and meet the
Lord for the last time we'll physically lie here with him."
Thanking him for: his love; his presence; his care and protection
over the years; the plane; the large fire; our impending imminent
meeting with our parents. She did not ask for a thing, not even for
Deejay. It was simply a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. When
she thanked Him for his presence, his glory descended on us and we
were engulfed in him for the night.
arrived at the cave the following day, we found our wood pile on the
north side of the patio had burned, "What happened down here last
night?" Sarah asked, "Did you light a signal fire for the
did, or at least she was responsible." Jamie answered.
you, Jamie, blaming a thing like that on a poor defenseless baby.
What happened?" Sarah teased.
a burni . . ."
"Did she get
burned? Where is she?" Sarah cried, running toward the cave.
right! She's asleep!" Debbie called.
"Like I was
trying to tell you," Jamie continued. She pulled a burning stick
out of the fire, and stood there looking at it. When I saw her, I
snatched it from her, and threw it away without looking where I was
throwing it. That made her mad, so I was trying to get on her good
side again, when Julie yelled, 'Fire!' By that time, the wood pile
was ablaze. We tried to put it out, but the more water we poured on
it the brighter it burned. Finally, we stood back and let it burn."
"We had been
watching the dark sky in the North," Debbie continued, "hoping that
it wouldn't come this way while you were on the mountain. When we
could do nothing to put the fire out, I turned my attention back to
the clouds, and praying for you. Then, I saw some funny stars.
Jamie looked at them, and without hesitation, he said, 'That's why
we had the fire. That's an airplane, and Momma's on it. She's seen
the fire and knows we are here, but she will have to convince Dad.
He thinks we are dead. It might take six months but she won't leave
him alone until he comes.'"
Daddy's gonna come with'em too." Julie announced.
Sarah and I
didn't say a word. We just looked at each other and smiled. Debbie
saw us. "Did you already know?"
almost the exact words to each other last night." Sarah took my
hand and looked into my eyes.
"I knew why
the fire burned it's brightest at the right moment. I was just
curious as to how it got started." I shook my finger at Jamie.
"And you, Jamie, ought to be horse whipped, as Dad used to say, for
giving Deejay credit for what the Lord did."
"What do you
the fire was all Deejay's fault. She was just an instrument in
Sorry Lord; I knew better too."
started making a commotion in the cave. "Deejay's awake I got
something to tell you." Sarah started for the cave. "I'll meet you
in the pool, where it's cool."
The rest of
us were already in the lake, when Sarah leaped off the patio with
the giggling baby in her arms. They came up separately. "'Gain
Mommy, 'gain." Deejay giggled, swimming to her mother.
Sweetheart." Sarah splashed a little water at the infant, who
turned toward me.
"Da da do."
now, Darling. Momma's gonna tell us something." I picked the little
girl up and hugged her. "I love you so much."
on your mind, Mom?" Julie held her hands out to the baby, who
buried her face in Daddy's shoulder.
you, now." Sarah linked her arm around Jamie's. Timmy and I have
known for the last year that yeaterday would be my last birthday on
the island. That's why we made the extra trips to the Top of the
Julie spun around to face Sarah. "I know who told you, but when did
He tell you? What did He say?"
mountain. My last birthday. I was feeding Deejay before we
dedicated her. He said I would have one more birthday up there but
between now and your next birthday." Jamie relaxed on his back
pondering what Sarah had said. "I'll betcha they come before
"Sim, Da da,
sim." The baby struggled to get down.
thinking more like October or November." I put the squirming baby
into the water. "Mom should wear Dad down in three months. I'll
bet his life will be miserable 'til he gives in."
Jamie climbed onto the diving rock, laughing. "Serves him right for
not listening to the Lord."
know if my dad can hold out that long." Sarah picked Deejay up
again. "I remember Momma being a real nag, when she didn't get her
settled then." Julie slipped into the deep water. "They will be
here at least by Christmas. Wouldn't that make a marvelous
make a better birthday present for Debbie, or Timmy. They come
first." Sarah dunked Deejay momentarily. The little girl came up
Debbie screamed. "What are we going to wear? We can't meet them in
these grass things. They don't even cover us up good."
care how we look. They will just be glad we're alive and well." I
splashed the water to get Deejay's attention. "If I know Momma,
she'll go through every missionary box she can find, and have
several sizes of everything, just to make sure she's got the right
things." That wasn't a revelation. I remembered that much about my
"We can cut
up a blanket and make some of those things like we wore until that
guy's coveralls were gone. You remember the ones we tied on the side
that were always coming loose. And, we girls can tie a strip of
blanket around the top." Sarah let the baby come to me. .
Scratchy!" Julie started scratching. "Even the thought of it makes
me itch. I don't even like to sleep on those things. I sure don't
want to wear them against the tender parts of my body!"
neither!" Debbie climbed onto the diving rock.
have to wear them but a few minutes, if Timmy's right about his mom,
but if you'd rather we can cut up one of the ponchos. They would be
awful hot, but not so scratchy."
better," they agreed.
"I bet they
won't bring us anything we can swim in." Julie intercepted the
she'll probably have several sizes of clothes. We can probably
make something." Sarah followed Debbie up the diving rock.
ump." Deejay pointed at the cliff.
while, Baby, We'll jump with you in a minute. We're talking now."
Julie dipped the baby to her armpits into the water.
surfaced from a dive. "Well, I ain't leaving until they've been
here at least a week. I want them to see our beautiful home, If
they like it, maybe we can come back here on vacations."
yet, maybe they'll like it so much they will build a house down on
the lakes and live here." Julie dreamed.
going to entertain guests, we better prepare for them." I began to
figure. "Let's see. We've got a sister and a brother, and you have
a brother, at least. With our folks that makes seven people, and
we need to plan for at least two more. That's nine. We got the
three beds and three chairs in the ravine. We can fix up Sarah's
and my old beds, and the old big bed. Some of the kids might be
able to sleep on that if they had to. We'll need a bigger table,
nine more eating chairs, six lounge chairs and five more beds. No
we'll make two more big beds like Sarah's and mine. That ought to be
enough, even if they bring a few extras. We've got work to do
Jamie. Let's go gather some bamboo. Girls, Sarah can stay with the
baby, this time. You girls can start by getting vines and making
new mats for old beds. I want to be ready for them in a month."
can make the mats." Sarah followed Jamie and me out of the water.
"You men can start working with the frames"
up a howl. "Ump. Ump."
Deejay. We'll jump, but just one time, then we've got work to do."
Julie carried the baby up the path and gave her to Sarah.
excited. We were going to have company, and we wanted to be ready.
Sarah made one jump with the baby, and went to work. She cut the
old mat from the beds, and tightened the vines that held the frames
together, while the girls collected vines, and Jamie and I brought
in bamboo stalks. By mid-afternoon we had a supply of materials to
start, and went to work.
they going to sleep?" Sarah began stringing the warp vines on the
old bed frame.
a burning stick to a point to burn holes in the bamboo stalks. "Our
parent's can sleep in Jamie's and one of the girl's rooms and the
kids can either sleep on the patio or in a room with their parents.
If they bring some one else we still have the other girl's room."
are we supposed to sleep?" Jamie was cutting the bamboo poles to
might be able to share a room, and you can take your choice: the
main room, the den room, the patio, or the ravine." Sarah tightened
a vine and tied it. "You sleep on the patio most of the time
days were busy ones. Jamie and I were making furniture, and the
girls wove mats and made the clothes out of ponchos for us to wear
to meet our parents.
did not go to the ravine on schedule, but started wearing the new
poncho-pants, I questioned Sarah about it, and she explained that
they had figured out a way to hide their embarrassment. They did
not want to take a chance on being in the ravine, when our folks
came. We boys hardly knew the difference.
By the end
of the month we took a trip to the cove to make sure we would have
plenty of salt and syrup for our guests. We hoped they would bring
their own coffee. I knew my dad and mother loved their coffee. The
only drinks we had besides water and fresh juice, were goat milk,
and lemonade. When I thought about that, I made a note to go to
Goat Field and bring in three more friendly goats, with kids old
enough not to need them.
By the first
of September, we were ready, and settled down to wait. Day after
day dragged by. We stood by the hour gazing out to sea and kept a
fire burning on the ledge day and night. We kept a pile of green
wood and brush near by to make more smoke if we saw them coming in
the day time. The Philippines were west of us. I was sure they
would come from the West or Northwest. We scanned the horizon for
hours at a time. Each night we went to bed disappointed, and each
morning we awoke with a new hope. September turned into October,
of the third, Debbie was the last to come to the patio to watch the
bats. "I know when they'll be here."
Julie asked first.
more days, the morning of my birthday."
"Is that a
revelation or wishful thinking?" Sarah asked.
thinking," Debbie admitted, frowning, "but could you think of a
better birthday present God could give me?"
Julie played with the baby. "They could come tonight and be here in
be better." Debbie prayed, "Jesus, you're my mediator. Please ask
our Father to let them be here on my birthday."
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.