The next morning, she arose early and padded down the stone corridor to put on the kettle for her customary cup of hot water and lemon juice (an unchristian alternative to decent tea, her father had always called this morning concoction). Radar, the blind lamb, was calling for his dawn feed. As farmers, Sam and Julie easily held the dual attitudes of respect for their animals and an unsentimental appreciation of their table value, but Radar’s disability, and his unconsciousness of it, had placed him in a different category. Just like the human blind, he was developing his other senses to compensate. He would almost somersault with joy when his acute hearing picked up Julie’s voice long before the other animals heard it. His bleated responses were the loudest ever uttered by any lamb, or so Sam said. This tiny woollen bundle seemed extraordinarily aware, communicating absolute delight when fondled. He had a name. He was part of the family. As Julie put away the cutlery from the previous night’s meal, she smiled at her reflection in the broad blade of the kitchen knife. Then she warmed the milk as usual and went out to the shed with Radar’s bottle, enjoying his early morning agitation as he sensed her nearing presence.

On her return, with Radar eagerly following the trail of her warm perfume in the brisk morning air, she paused at the herb garden to pick some hyssop, and then stopped at the entrance to the Studio. Feeling the familiar trembling of excitement in her hands, she shook moisture from the hem of her gown and, taking a deep breath, pushed the door wide. As she hesitated on the threshold, Radar nudged past her. She followed him inside. Nothing had changed. There was no evidence of any demonic activity in her absence. She was almost ashamed at her relief, but knew she must sanctify the space. Hesitantly, she placed the three leafy sprigs of hyssop on the table. As she opened the curtains, she felt the trembling warmth of the new sun on her strangely icy hands. The ancient story flooded back into her mind.

Then, with sudden clarity, deaf now to any voice except the one pounding in her head, Julie drew the long kitchen knife from the deep pocket of her gown. She would follow His example! With great solemnity, she raised the glinting blade to the strengthening sun, committing her purpose to the Lord.

Deliverance →

et cetera