Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A "Voice"

Years after the first time I heard a 'voice' (see "Call Home" on this blog), I heard it a second time, and then a third time, also years apart. The second time was a brief assurance that I wasn't aware I needed. The third time was a two-word message that alerted me to the truth of a particular matter.

The second time: "And for you....."
The second time I heard the 'voice',  I was living in a lovely house on a ridge, overlooking a beautiful, upscale residential boating lake; and the location was wonderfully quiet. It was the perfect setting in which to write. I was a weekly newspaper reporter for over fours years at this point, and I liked it.  I was also attending college and deeply into my English Composition course. My English professor really like my non-fiction and fiction pieces.  He strongly advised me, in private, "Whatever you do, do something in writing."  Since he knew I was a reporter, I said, "I'm in there".  But he said, "I mean, beyond that."  I took it in stride.

One Saturday afternoon, alone at home, I thought over a good plot that I had in mind for my next course paper. I was very eager to write it. But I knew I had to do math before writing because, having math to do on my mind would severely interfere with writing. I never liked math. It never came easy to me; so it was a wicked chore.  

I heaved a heavy sigh, picked up the study material, shuffled to the living room couch and got comfortable. I looked around the room a couple of times, heaved another heavy sigh, and tilted my head back to rest it on the back of the couch. Then, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and slowly let it out, all the while thinking, "I wish I didn't have to do math". 

Then, I heard a voice that came from the ceiling, but it was a baritone voice so deep, it felt as if I came from the depths of the ocean. It said, clearly,  "And for you, the written word."

I bolted straight up on the couch seat. I was stunned. I looked back and forth across the ceiling, but nothing was there. I jumped up, looked out the front windows to see if it came from the street or from the lake park below, but no one was there. I ran and looked out of all the windows to see if someone was on the lawns. No one was there. I knew I was the only one home, but I called out, "Anyone here?", and went from room to room; but there was no one with me. 

I returned to the couch and thought it through. I never forgot the first 'voice', and I knew this was the same kind of event. So I thought about having to test the spirit. Listening to what it said couldn't hurt anyone else, nor could it hurt me. I was a writer, and knew since age 12 that I wouldn't be anything else because I couldn't be anything else. So, it wasn't a 'bad' spirit. 

Then, I recalled the thought I had just before I heard the voice. I was moaning about having to do math, and in so many words, the 'voice' reminded me 'this too shall pass'. I wouldn't have to take math forever. And I thought the arrangement of words was a solid indication that the reminder came from God; they sounded biblical. So, I accepted the message. 

Once the whole of it sank in, I knew I'd pass the math courses for the remainder of that segment of college. As it turned out, those grades were on the lower side of my ideal, but the other grades were at their highest. So, my ending grade point average was still high; and during graduation ceremonies, along with receiving my degree, and I was awarded a full-tuition-paid academic excellence scholarship for the next leg, at a university of my choice where, among other courses, I took two semesters of Journalism in order to add to already-established abilities in reporting; to enhance whatever else I might do in writing; and to continue on in the written word. Listening to the 'voice', made all of it possible.

The third time: From the Balcony
The third time I heard the 'voice', I was living in an apartment that had once been part of the first house in that particular section of the city. The former upstairs library was my living room, complete with a high-ceiling and french doors that opened to a balcony, facing the front of the house.

Most nights, the neighborhood was quiet. On cold or wet evenings, if there wasn't anything of interest on TV, I pecked away on fiction and non-fiction pieces.  On pleasant evenings, the full, star-stunned sky could been seen from the balcony.

At that time, I worked weekdays, 9-5, as the executive assistant to the owner and founder of an international corporation. My usual weekday lunch place was right next door to work. 

One day at lunch, I was introduced to the new chef. After a couple of weeks, he asked me to have coffee with him; so, he was interested in dating. Since he was obviously about it, during that first talk, I made it a point to tell him I don't date married or separated guys. He heard me. So I made it a point to ask, "Are you single, and not separated?" He said he was single, and not separated. With that out of the way, we spent the rest of the afternoon haunting bookstores. After a couple of weeks, we started enjoying a decent, pleasant dating relationship. 

After a month or so, during the course of one of our conversations, he said he didn't think he would ever want live where I was from, even though he was never there. But since I wasn't planning on returning home, I thought nothing further about it, and I surmised he felt that way because he was from that region.  

A month later, I was in my living room watching TV late one evening. I was sitting on the couch. The  french doors were behind me, and they were opened to the balcony, allowing a light, warm, barely perceptual  breeze to gently flow into the living room. When a commercial came on, I muted the sound, something I hardly ever did. I just felt I wanted to enjoy the quiet of the still night for a few moments.

Suddenly, I heard a 'voice' that came from the balcony. It was a male voice; a tenor voice, that seemed to flow in with the breeze. It said, "He's married" and the word 'married' echoed fainter and fainter, until it was gone.

I turned around in a flash to look behind me and at the balcony, Nothing was there. I got up and went through the wide-open doorway onto the balcony. No one was on the balcony, and no one was on the street. I walked through the rooms; but, as I knew, I was alone. I checked the two staircases. No one was there.

I slowly sat back down on the couch, thinking about it, and remembering the other two times I heard a 'voice'; and I knew this was another event. I knew I was supposed to pay attention to what it said; and it couldn't mean anyone else. And knowing that what I heard two times before from a 'voice' turned out to be 'right on', I decided this too must be 'right on', as much as I didn't want it to be. And like the other two times, I tested the spirit and knew there was no one who could be harmed by asking directly. So I decided to ask the next day. 

We had planned to do something the next morning, and the minute he was at the front of my place, I went downstairs and met him on the front sidewalk. I told him, "I heard a rumor that you're married." He was visibly shocked but didn't answer. He looked down at the ground, so I knew the truth, and it hit me hard; but just the same, I asked, "Is it true?". He shot back, "Well....we're separated and she lives in another state".

I stared at him in stunned disbelief. When I recovered enough, I reminded him that I asked specifically about that the first time we had coffee; and I added that he should have told me then. He started making lame excuses why he didn't tell me the truth; and I threw up my hands in disgust, told him to never come around or call. Then, I turned and sprinted by upstairs. 

Although getting over it took a while, I learned to make sure that I 'trust, but verify', every single time with no exception. And, unknown to me at that time, the next month I was told I was badly needed back home. So, if it hadn't been for the voice, I might have been torn, and probably would have never been told the truth. But because of the voice, I happily wrapped up my affairs; and soon enough after my arrival home, I realized my return was crucial. And all because I listened to a 'voice', a 'voice' from God, from the balcony.        

Tina Irene Williams
From ©WilliamsScript, the author's private collection of writings
Copyright © Tina Irene Williams 2000 All Rights Reserved.
No part of this document may be reproduced without Tina Irene Williams' written consent.

From BAM:
Today is the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday. I interpret "ashes to ashes" to mean spirit to spirit. This day, for me, is a reminder that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

How is God speaking to your spirit? And do you listen or write off as not real.

Take time during this Lenten season to slow down and listen. God wants to speak with us to guide, heal and love us.