According to his usual habit, Katrina’s stepfather had lumbered home last night with a jug of whiskey. When he drank, he frequently hurled the ax and used her as a target for his knifing skills. The things he does when he drinks…
“Katie girl, Papa’s home.” Last night he had stumbled in after a day in the field, a mocking timber in his voice. Katrina was waiting behind the door with a heavy pitcher. His skull did a prime job, shattering the ceramic in a dozen pieces. By the time he woke, Katrina was deep in the heart of the forest.
Only fools enter the Dark Woods. The villagers chronically touted the warnings: deadly swamps, man-hunting beasts, unpredictable terrain. It didn’t matter that tales of gold awaited them on the other side of the forest. No one from their community had ever dared risk the danger. Katrina’s stepfather would never look for her in there.
Branches cracked, birds screeched, a howling wind blew, stirring up leaves and dirt. Katrina scanned the army of trees. Each one looked the same, every turn mirrored the last. She had been running all night. Briars latched onto her hair, mud caked her feet. Her hands and cheeks bore scratches from countless branches and thorns, her plain cotton dress hung in tatters. Not a bite of food since yesterday. Katrina was alive, but she was also very lost.
Sinking onto a bed of dead leaves, Katrina cried into bleeding hands. With gentle movement, she rocked herself, as if the back-and-forth motion might transport her down into the safety of the earth.
“Mama,” she cried in between sobs. Why did Mama have to die and leave her with such a brute?
Through the cracks in the forest roof, dawn peeked down on her. Katrina shivered as a dampness soaked into her skin. Rain trickled through the branches, and with a grateful laugh, Katrina opened her mouth to catch a few drops. She closed her eyes, cherishing the refreshment. That’s when she heard it—a sound coming from somewhere within the web of evergreens.
Slowly, Katrina stood and crept forward, dodging a thick branch. She was careful to move quietly over the bed of sticks and roots. In spite of a clear path, the distant sound swiftly led her through bushes and brambles. Katrina’s heart raced, the sound increasing the further she traveled. It led her to the edge of a small clearing.
“A windmill?” Katrina tilted her head and posed the question to the forest. Could a windmill sing? She stood looking at the structure whose sails churned out a peaceful melody, one she’d never heard yet seemed familiar.
Katrina took a ginger step. Two. She passed through an opening in a stone hedge. Smooth stones formed a path leading to an arched doorway. It was the sort of abode where fairies or witches or trolls might live. Only fools would lack caution.
“Hello!” she called out. “Is anyone there?” A fresh breeze and the windmill continued to sing; the lullaby swallowed Katrina’s voice.
“Hello?” she called out again. Katrina hesitated outside the threshold. The door to the windmill swung open, and Katrina trembled. She had heard of ghosts and goblins but had never seen one. She hoped she never would.
The rain came down harder. Katrina braced herself and ducked inside. She found herself inside a large room where one would expect to see a mechanism grinding wheat. But not this windmill. Instead of wheat, the sails of the structure were connected to a thousand strings spilling out a perfect harmony. One enormous music box.
The music continued, this time a new song enveloped her, a melody Katrina had not heard in years. Not since she was a little girl and her mother was alive. It was the lullaby she used to sing at night. Katrina had almost forgotten.
The girl moved from the strings and over to a stone fireplace.
If you are here, the music of the wind has chosen you.
Above the hearth, the words welcomed her. Katrina slowly traced the words. She’d never been chosen for anything before. For some time she sat in front of the hearth, allowing the music to soothe her.
Eventually, the rain ceased. Katrina climbed the stairs of a winding staircase, up and up, to a small balcony overlooking the army of trees. In the distance, far beyond the forest, Katrina spotted the land the villagers had proclaimed. A place of gold did exist–infinite wheat fields boldly reflected the warmth of the emerging sun. Katrina smiled in relief. Tomorrow she would go there, to the golden land far away from her stepfather. But today she would remain in the safety of the windmill. She would rest in the music of the wind.
Thou art my hiding-place; Thou wilt preserve me from trouble; Thou wilt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalm 32:7 (ASV)
Question to Ponder: Where do you need deliverance today?
Song Recommendation: Centuries by Aaron Strumpel
-Read Previous Sunday Psalms from Season Two: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5,Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12, Episode 13, Episode 14, Episode 15, Episode 16, Episode 17, Episode 18, Episode 19, Episode 20, Episode 21, Episode 22, Episode 23, Episode 24, Episode 25, Episode 26, Episode 27, Episode 28, Episode 29, Episode 30, Episode 31, Episode 32
Written by Heidi Beth Sadler, Inspired by Psalm 32. Copyright © 2017 Benjamin & Heidi Sadler, All Rights Reserved.