In today's reading, Chakoh and Esteban and the "Three Señors" (Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, and Andres Dorantes) are trying to establish themselves among the Buffalo People so that they are able to first be able to stay long enough for one of their party to recover physically, but also to be able to secure guides to help them along the next leg of their journey to Mexico City. Estaban creates a scenario where it's believed he's been bitten by a rattle snake so that the "Three Senñors" can use their "magic" to heal him and thus provide them status as powerful Medicine Men and the safety they expect that to provide. What Chakoh quickly realizes was not considered was the pride of the Medicine Man who serves the Buffalo People and the severe danger they are all in should this man's envy cause him to feel his power threatened!
Immediately my thoughts returned to one of my favorite books from Core C, which was among the final stories we read: And the Word Came With Power. Several times I found myself reminding my daughter of things that had happened to author/missionary Joanne Shetler as she sought to bring the gospel message to the Balangao people, who were steeped in fear of evil spirits. She too faced the jealousy of the Witch Doctor. And just as Ms Shetler had to realize she was facing real power and not simply superstition, so also Cabeza de Baca comes to this realization.
After a night of "cooperation" with the Medicine Man of the Buffalo People, and of observing things that happened to Esteban during that time, Cabeza de Vaca becomes thoughtful:
"This makes me wonder, " he said, "This is exactly the way the Indians that we cured acted."
"My people always behave like this after the Spirit-of-Misfortune breathes on them, said Chakoh. "I have seen it often. So have you."
"Yes, we have. Does it always come and go so suddenly?"
"The Spirit of Misfortune always strikes suddenly, but almost always the medicine man cures my people."
"I see now that we might have saved our payers and vows. We are not the great healers that we thought."
"But you are," said Chakoh. "Our medicine men never cured them as quickly as you."
"And I imagine they never had quite as many patients either. Never mind, Chakoh. I am thinking aloud." ~ Walk the World's Rim, chapter 5, The Cure
Yet again, I find myself so appreciative of how great books can be used to teach other great books... and how Sonlight has found these and put them together to provide such amazing teaching opportunities...sometimes ones they haven't even predicted!
The power of God is real, as Joanne Shetler knew. But so also Satan has real power, whether through superstition or actual interaction with people, as Cabeza de Vaca was beginning to realize. But as Joanne Shetler came to actually experience "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
Through stories like this, and the discussions they encourage, I am able to pass on the Power of the Gospel to my daughter in a meaningful way. This is one of the reasons I homeschool, so that I have many opportunities like this.