One of Mary’s farm hands died today. He had suffered a deep gash in his leg while working in the fields a couple of weeks ago and the wound had gradually grown worse. He was one of the unlucky ones whose wounds get invaded by a bad spirit. Sometimes you can wash them away if you’re quick, or you can burn the flesh to force them out, but it often seems to make little difference. Then he was even more unfortunate in that the spirit moved beyond the wound and entered his whole body, giving him a fever and spreading sores everywhere. He was a good man, so I can’t believe his death was a punishment, unless it was for something one of his ancestors did.
I think it was simply God’s will that he should die now. I prayed with him and laid hands on him but it was no good. Maybe I have been too absorbed in myself recently and have not dedicated myself sufficiently to God for him to respond to my prayers, or maybe the man lacked faith. I don’t know what will happen to his poor wife and children. Mary can’t afford to keep them on, so if the wife can’t remarry they will probably have to beg.
I was disappointed that Tom didn’t stay. I really thought he would, but once he saw my bad spirits had been driven away he seemed to lose interest again. He stayed around all day to check I had really recovered and to make sure everyone was back on message, as he put it, but when I went to find him for a chat yesterday morning he had already gone.