After he had eaten plenty of lunch, Nolan ran off from chatting with the cooks to go play in the pool with the other kids. The adults were resting from the big meal before clean up time. It was this time Mr. Randal chose to start pouring his evil honey in the ear of Nolan’s dad.
“Look how much fun these kids are having.” He said with a likable chuckle.
“Yeah” said Nolan’s dad, “Nolan and his sister have been asking for a pool since I can’t remember. They think it would be the best thing I could ever do if I spent their whole inheritance getting one installed at our place.” They laughed at the silliness of children. They never did see the bigger picture did they.
Then Mr. Randal casually said, “You know anytime Nolan wants to come swim he’s always welcome. In fact, if you guys need a little alone time, I could even watch him overnight. It’d give you and the wife a chance to have a date night and Nolan could just sit out here and swim.”
Nolan’s date took the bait. He trusted Mr. Randal and he was a friendly enough guy and he seemed like a good Christian man. He never suspected a trap. And as Nolan swam in the pool and played with the kids, the devil himself has at war to try and destroy him. After having an hour or so to think about it, the little evil egg hatched in Nolan’s dad’s mind. He went into the kitchen to call his wife and see if she wanted a night out. It all made sense in his head, even though Nolan was old enough to be left alone. Heck, they left him alone all the time. But there was something so smooth and demonic in those words. Everyone was getting something good out of this and it just felt like a good deal for all involved.
But only God and Nolan’s mom knew what that invitations was about to run into. You see Nolan’s mom didn’t talk about it to anyone but she had been groomed and taken advantage of as a child. That’s what drove her into children’s ministry. She had a passion for protecting children from predators. She’s prayed over the kids from church every day and prayed for Nolan in a seemingly never ending loop. Today, her faithful prayers would be answered and no one would ever know it had happened.
Nolan’s dad presented the idea and something in her spirit snapped. It was an absolute no, not no but hell no. That was not ok, that was never going to happen. They weren’t going to be sending him to stay the night with a single adult man. Unacceptable period. Nolan’s dad felt attacked by his wife and he had a choice to make. He could listen to his smooth talking friend from church or his partner in life. He made the right choice and apologized, even though he didn’t really know what he was sorry for. He would let Mr. Randal know that tonight wasn’t a good night. There was something that he’d forgotten about and his wife reminded him.
Right around that time, Nolan’s friend Jerry’s older brother Mike started dunking the younger boys in the pool. Church kids had a thing for dunking the other kids and pretending it was a baptism. They piled onto Mike to try and dunk him, but not even 7 of the younger kids could dunk him. Then he grabbed ahold of Nolan. And at the same moment of God’s protection against the attack on his life, Nolan was slammed under water. “I baptize you in the name of the Father”, Mike yelled out with the first dunk. Then up he came for a breath and down again. “The Son”, Mike yelled out. “And the Holy Ghost!”, he said on the third time under. Nolan could hardly breath, he was angry and small and needed help. He didn’t know how much help he’d just gotten.