“Where are we going?” I asked. “Never mind,” said the stranger. “I’ll tell you when to turn.” I glanced back at his sister, a person I hardly knew from my apartment complex, and she just nodded and gave me a look that said better do what he says. I felt ill. You know that fearful little knot in your stomach that tells you that something just ain’t right. So I gripped the steering wheel, and he directed my route as we wound our way around downtown Hopkins. ” Ok, pull over here.” The stranger pulls out a large roll of bills and gives me an eerie smile I will never forget. He peels off a ten and throws it down on the seat before he disappears into an alley between a row of buildings.
The sister climbs in the front and says, “Forget about this and forget where you dropped him off.” WTH? What just happened? I was too shocked to ask, and we rode home in silence.
After I let the sister off, I went into the management office to look for my friend Mardie, who was the apartment manager. “Why did you ask me to give Bonnie and her brother a ride? It felt creepy.” Mardie lit up a cigarette and motioned for me to sit down. “Because he broke out of prison and needed a ride somewhere. I didn’t want to do it, and Bonnie didn’t want to harbor him. She went with him so he wouldn’t harm you.” “WHAT??!!! Why wouldn’t you tell me that?” Mardie responded,” Would you have given him a ride if you knew?”
That was 20 years ago, and God brought it to my memory this weekend. See, I wasn’t a Christian back then, and He wanted to remind me that He has always been speaking to me. Always. I could have avoided a lot of trauma and drama in my life if I had known that. Known Him. Believed in Him. Trusted in Him.
I clearly recall that when Mardie phoned me for the favor, something in me said no. I felt in my gut that something was wrong. She called me 3-4 more times, and each time it was a LOUD NO in my heart. I finally gave in because she could be relentless when she wanted something.
God said “You didn’t believe in me back then, and I was still speaking to you. I was warning you. I talk to all of my children. Believers and unbelievers. Some may call it a hunch or intuition. All the same, it is I. How much more will my children hear me if they open their eyes and ears to the fact that I desire to speak to them more than they want to hear. When you choose to hear me and seek to hear me, I am able to better keep you from harm’s way and guide your steps. Fearful is the man who does not trust my voice. ” “Yes, Lord. That is very true. I experience less fear when I choose to add you into my life, and it runs so much smoother. Less drama and pain.”
Wow. My life has changed. A lot! How many murders, robberies, rapes, etc. happen because we are in the wrong place at the wrong time because we chose NOT to listen? Think about it. How many blame God for evil and say He allowed it for some extraordinary reason that we will only know about in Heaven? He loves his children too much for that.
Listen. Listen. Today help me to choose to LISTEN.