Monday, November 14, 2011

A Voice Crying Out

The voice that spoke out of nowhere in the dark morning was eerie, other-worldy. I stopped and swung around to confront whatever ghastly thing was crying out so near to me in the early morning while my family slept. There was no one. The dogs stood in front of me, wagging their tails and asking for breakfast. Had that plaintive cry come from one of them? I stood still, listening, but there was no repeat of that horrible, frightening cry. I thought it had said, "Vicky", but I couldn't be sure. I peeked in our room, but my husband still slept, and the sound had been right behind me, in the kitchen...I was certain of that. A little spooked, I fed the dogs and then sat down at the computer to start writing this post. And then, from behind me, the moaning, garbled cry again. I leaped to my feet and went running to the bird. Maybe he was choking on a seed. But no, the bird was standing on one foot, eyes closed, peacefully asleep. I returned, truly frightened now, to the computer. Something was in pain, something was calling me, and I could not help. I could not find what it was.

I thought of all the things in pain that might be calling me. Yesterday, we collected the food from the neighborhood dogfood drive we had organized for Hollow Creek Farm Rescue. I collected only 6 bags, some dog food cans, and two large containers of biscuits. In the past we have gotten almost 300 pounds of food. I was disappointed, but Asherel kept reminding me, "How wonderful! We have 100 pounds of food for them that they wouldn't have otherwise had."  She is right, of course, but it was hard not to be sad that I couldn't help more. I know Hollow Creek, like all the charities and rescues are hurting in this economy of "hope and change."

"Mom!" called the terrifying, desperate voice.
I jumped up again and stood by Asherel's door. She was also asleep.
My boys need me! I thought .  They are both off on their own now, but I had no doubt that if God wanted to alert me to the need for prayer or assistance to them, He would call me in some way. I had not expected it to be so audible. I prayed for them, and walked nervously around the room, listening.

I had read yesterday in 1 Samuel about how God audibly spoke to the young boy, Samuel, calling him by name. It is one of the few times when God spoke in an unmistakable, audible voice, and He did so because He had a message for the priest Eli. Eli's sons were desecrating the temple, and Eli's people were turning from God. God spoke with a dire warning and a message that Samuel was to convey. As I read that passage, I thought how terrifying it would be to hear a voice out of the early morning darkness, not knowing who was speaking or why. And now, here I was in just that same situation! A voice was clearly calling to me in this very room. Something I could not see. The voice had called me by name and then identified me by the most important role I had been given on earth: Mom.

I stood in the kitchen, quivering.
"Speak Lord, your servant is listening."
Just then, the voice returned, "On this day in 1851, Moby Dick was published...."
I glanced on the counter. My smart phone was on. I had looked at the email from the History Channel when I had first come out, but was almost certain I had turned it off afterwards. I had been unaware that there was a setting that would allow the news from this day in history to be read out loud, but somehow, inadvertently, I must have pushed some button that activated this feature.

However, I sat down and prayed fervently. I prayed for my sons so far away with all the struggles that young men starting out in life might endure. I prayed for my parents, and for whatever unknown voice might be calling out in distress, thinking it was all alone, unheard. And having never read Moby Dick, I think God might want me to read that next....

Hebrews 4: 6-7

 6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
   “Today, if you hear his voice,
   do not harden your hearts.”

1 Samuel 3: 9-10

9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
 10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
   Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

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