“Something tells me that God has done this that His Name might be glorified,” said Hellgum.
At that Karin grew angry and two bright red spots appeared in her cheeks. She thought it very presumptuous in Hellgum to think this illness had come upon her simply to give him an opportunity to perform a miracle.
Presently the preacher got up and went over to Karin. Placing his heavy hand on her head, he asked: “Do you want me to pray for you?”
Karin immediately felt a current of life and health shoot through her body, but she was so offended at the man for his obtrusiveness that she pushed away his hand and raised her own as if to strike him. Her indignation was beyond words.
Hellgum withdrew toward the door. “One should not reject the help which God sends, but accept it thankfully.”
“That’s true,” Karin returned. “Whatever God sends one is obliged to accept.”
“Mark well what I say to you! This day shall salvation come unto this house,” the man proclaimed.
Karin did not answer.
“Think of me when you receive the help!” he said. The next instant he was gone.
Karin sat bolt upright in her chair, the red spots still burning in her cheeks. “Am I to have no peace even in my own house?” she muttered. “It’s singular how many there are nowadays who think themselves sent of God.”
Suddenly Karin’s little girl got up and toddled toward the fireplace. The bright blaze had attracted the child, who, shrieking with delight, was making for it as fast as her tiny feet could carry her.
Karin called to her to come back, but the child paid no heed to her; at that moment she was trying to clamber up into the fireplace. After tumbling down a couple of times, she finally managed to get upon the hearth, where the fire blazed.
“God help me! God help me!” cried Karin. Then she began to shout for help, although she knew there was no one near.
The little girl bent laughingly over the fire. Suddenly a burning ember rolled out and fell on her little yellow frock. Instantly Karin sprang to her feet, rushed over to the fireplace, and snatched the child in her arms. Not until she had brushed away all the sparks from the child’s dress, and had made sure that her baby was unharmed, did she realize what had happened to herself. She was actually on her feet; she had been walking again, and would always be able to walk!
Karin experienced the greatest mental shake-up she had ever felt in her life, and at the same time the greatest sense of happiness. She had the feeling that she was under God’s special care and protection, and that God Himself had sent a holy man to her house to strengthen her and to heal her.
That autumn Hellgum often stood on the little porch of Strong Ingmar’s cottage, looking out across the landscape. The country round about was growing more beautiful every day: the ground was now a golden brown, and all the leafy trees had turned either a bright red or a bright yellow. Here and there loomed stretches of woodland that shimmered in the breeze like a billowy sea of gold. Against the shadowy background of the fir-clad hills could be seen splashes of yellow; they were the leaf trees that had strayed in among the pines and spruces and taken root there.