A WOMAN WHO KNEW HER FAITH
GOES TO MEET THE LORD
Pretty much all the guys in my high school fell in love with Carole Jane at one time or another. Some may have dated her; I’m not sure how much dating she did. But I can tell you that I was never in the running.
A deeply confirmed Baptist, she made it clear to me, in the sweetest possible way, that my weak, agnostic grasp of Christianity ruled me out as a possible beau.
I wasn’t happy about that. But I had to admire her standards.
Carole Jane was one of those fair-haired, blue-eyed, American Beauty girls who now represent icons of the late 1950s and early ’60s.
While I don’t know if she ever studied ballet, I remember that she had the most expressive feet. In conversation she would emphasize whatever she was saying with a pointed toe, or the crossing of one foot over the other, or a dancelike sweep of her shoe across the ground in front of her. A beguilingly girlish set of mannerisms.
Carole Jane was an excellent student — president of the National Honor Society chapter at our school, and later a graduate of Wheaton College. And she could express her opinions with conviction and directness.
We once had a conversation about the doctrine of Original Sin. I was quite shocked that this charming girl, who radiated an aura of purity, was convinced that people are inherently evil.
Only later, coming to an understanding of what the Church terms concupiscence, did I get what she so naturally knew in her beautiful Baptist heart.
It’s not that people are always plotting wicked things against others — rather that our fallen nature disposes us toward selfishness and the pursuit of advantage, exploitation and self-indulgence (any of which can turn wicked).
Faith empowers us to rise above our base instincts, and helps us in the effort.
Carole Jane would have known to call that redemption.
No surprise there. The epigram on her yearbook photo is…
“Wisdom and faith go hand in hand.”
A surprise emergence of cancer and an extremely rapid progression of the disease after diagnosis brought Carole Jane to the end of her earthly sojourn last Thursday. She leaves her husband Tom, three daughters, and their families.
May the Lord grant Carole Jane Wright Paulsen her eternal rest and joy in His presence forever.
This wedding shot, cribbed from Carole Jane’s Facebook page, provides a tender glimpse of the lovely girl I remember.
Note to My Patient Readers
One of those “perfect storms” of technology put me off blogging for several weeks.
Just at the time my blog platform, WordPress, was upgrading its web design and management features, my hosting service was hit by a major hack.
For a time it looked like a complete re-build would be called for. But my genius of a computer-tech son-in-law was able to recover all the original graphic elements and move me to a new server.
So I’m back, and things look pretty much as they did before — which is enormously relieving to someone like me who doesn’t always handle change well.
It’s sad that my return is marked by a post about the death of a dear friend.
Nevertheless, I thank you for your patience. And I’ll try to be a bit more frequent in my posting.