“And some they win/ And some they lose
And the winners grin/And the losers say
Deal the cards again/ Oh won’t you deal the cards again…”*
Patrick McLeary was a reformed gambler. He’d been playing solitaire for 48 hours straight and had come to no solution on what was bothering him. Something out there was not right. He could feel it.
He had quit gambling and became a preacher when he hit rock bottom. By that point, he’d lost a fortune. He’d lost his house and his car. And, most of all, it had cost him his family.
Stripped of all he had, he had nowhere to go. After doing some soul searching, he decided to turn his life around. Handing his life over to God, he entered seminary. There he had met Michael and the two became fast friends. Upon graduation, they’d agreed to keep in touch…but went their own directions.
And they had kept in touch. every Monday and Friday, Michael would call. The two of them would talk about their week, then Michael would mention something about his “gift”. And, usually, it was a dream he’d had. Or a premonition.
And each would always come true. But the last one he’d mentioned made Patrick think. He’d said something about his being taken by angels to a place he’d not been for some time, and there facing the devil. Something about a war between heaven and hell. With the world and a single person in the balance. Patrick was worried.
It was this that had kept him up these 48 hours. This and the phone call he had received from Michael’s secretary saying that Michael had disappeared. It was all coming true. Yet, Patrick had no clue what part he had to play in this. That was his problem at the moment.
What had Michael’s purpose been in telling him about the dream? He couldn’t prevent it from happening. He couldn’t very well go along to help him. what was his reason?
Then, Patrick remembered what his father used to say. “When in doubt, pray.” God, he wished he could go back and apologize to his old man. But here and now, his friend needed help. And the only way he could help was to pray…
Sandra Danforth had been deep into yoga, transcendentalism, New Age, and the tarot. She had been so deep that, when the walls came crashing in, she had been unprepared. When she realized that she had been living a lie, she began taking stock of her life. She had been successful with her bookstore, but then it all came crashing in. That was when she met Sara. the two women became inseparable companions. When Sara bought out the bookstore, Sandra began working for her.
As their friendship blossomed, Sara told her of her “gift”. But she found it odd that Sara, for all her fortune telling, sat every morning and every evening reading her Bible.
“How do you reconcile your fortune telling and your faith?” she had once asked, thinking that the two weren’t related.
“I do not tell fortunes,” Sara replied, “I tell the future. there is a difference. I know what is going to happen for each person. But I also choose who I tell the future for. Some futures are best not told.”
From that point on, she never asked again. Now, she was worried. Sara was missing. Not quite sure what she believed in, she still knew that something had to be done. Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to pray…
Darveau Mathieu had been with Thomas in the war. Thomas had saved his life and he owed him a lot. He had been the first to realize that the body near Thomas’ tags was not his friend, but some other luckless soldier. But where had his friend gone?
But the war had been over 15 years, and there was still no sign of Thomas. But he had a feeling and it was growing stronger by the day. Had Thomas finally returned? Or was it his imagination?
Luken Daarkholm had had been a Hasidic devil worshiper and a strong believer in the occult. His world fell apart when he realized that he had believed a religion of lies. From then on, his world went into a tailspin. At the bottom, the light went on. And that is when he met Michael. Michael had offered him sanctuary when he had nowhere else to go. Michael, when Luken regained his footing in life, then sent him to James. James had taken him in and made him partner in the hunting expedition business.
He became close to the simple mountain family and had begun to explore the Bible. Learning quickly, he began sitting in with James as he did Bible study of a morning and asked questions–eager to learn. And learn he did.
Now, he was worried. James should have been back by now. He had been out for four days, the maximum for any trip. Something had happened. He was sure of it.
A war was about to take place. a spiritual war that would decide the fate of one soul. Someone was at stake. Even the fate of the world was at stake.
*”The Devil”, verse 3, By Hoyt Axton. Used with permission.