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Hearing God Speak The Text Message
By Todd Tribble

"I can't believe I did that."

She sat on the side of her bed staring at the clock which glowed a green "1:00 am."

"Why in the world did I not just walk away?"

She ran her hands absentmindedly over the bedspread and allowed the familiar texture to calm her rattled nerves.

"I'm dead. My friends are going to have a field day with this one, and if my parents ever find out … well I guess college was never that important anyway."

She closed her eyes, and the memories of the evening came flooding back. It started off as an invitation to a party, which then turned into the opportunity for a chance meeting with Matt, which then gave way to that stupid, red drink that everyone was drinking, and then came the cigarettes.....

Glancing around her room, she saw the pictures, posters, stuffed animals, and all of the other things that described who she was. The dance recital ribbon from when she was five; the tickets from that great concert last year; the Nancy Drew collection her grandmother had given her; the picture of Matt and her at last year's picnic......

Matt....

She took a deep breath and slowly got up and walked over to the mirror. She stared intently at the person looking back at her and noticed that there was a tear falling from her left eye. She watched it slowly caress her cheek, ease over the line of her jaw, and then fall with a silent protest onto the dresser below. She knew that it was the first of many tears she would shed over this experience, and she was strangely awed at having seen the first emergence of her grief.

She knew that the drinking was wrong, and she knew that the smoking had been a mistake, but it was the time she spent with Matt afterwards that was killing her. They both just got caught up in the moment, and before she knew it, they were in a bedroom … everything happened so fast … and then it was gone … forever.

The tears were falling faster now, and they created two streams down the sides of her cheeks. Her shoulders began to heave, and she felt her stomach twist into a knot. She grabbed the trashcan in case she got sick and just let the sadness envelope her. This had not been part of the plan, and the idea that she would never have that moment back was too much for her.

Matt had driven her home from the party, and they had barely spoken. She had noticed that he looked upset, and when he kissed her goodnight there had been tears in his eyes.

They had known each other for years, and this was something completely out of character for both of them. He had tried to force a smile as she got out of the car, but it just came out like an awkward frown.

As he pulled away she noticed him wipe his eyes with his right hand. They had both lost something that night, and the shame was overwhelming....

Turning back towards her bed, she leaned against the dresser with a sigh. Her eyes landed on a dress, which was wrapped in the familiar dry cleaner plastic. She cocked her head to one side as she tried to remember why that dress had been put out. Walking over to it she saw that it was the Easter dress they had bought the weekend before........

Easter....

Her knees buckled as she was hit with the realization of what this day was. Glaring at the clock, she saw the green "1:15 am," and right below it was the date "04/08/2007." She sank to the floor with the weight of grief, shame, sadness, and embarrassment pushing her down. In a couple of hours she was going to have to put on the dress, accompany her family to church, and celebrate one of the holiest holidays, with the knowledge of last night fresh on her mind. What was worse was knowing that Matt would probably be there as well … how would she look at him?

"pray.....pray....pray....pray...."

The voice started out quietly, but it quickly filled her head.

"pray.....pray.....pray.....pray...."

She stood up, whirled around, and looked in the mirror. Her cheeks were stained and her eyes were puffy from crying.

"pray.....pray.....pray.....pray...."

She backed up slowly and eased her way back down to the ground. Her knees touched the carpet and she felt her eyes close and her hands intertwine....

"pray.....pray.....pray......pray...."

She began to talk to God. She told Him about the evening, her sadness, her embarrassment, her confusion, her nerves ... it all came pouring out. She prayed for Matt and asked that God enter his life and give him the knowledge and comfort that was needed. She then paused and, with a quivering voice, asked for His forgiveness, and for Him to lead and guide her through this emotional time. Then she asked for His love and thanked Him for all that He has given and done for her.

Slowly opening her eyes, she raised her body from the prone position she found herself in. The room was quiet … as if the walls were giving her a moment to herself. She just sat there on the floor and allowed the peace of the moment to wash over her and begin the healing process.

The distant hum of her cell phone startled her, and she quickly retrieved it from her purse. It was a text message from Matt....

"Happy Easter."

She stared at the small screen, not sure how to respond. Then a small smile crept across her face, and she began to type….

"He is risen."

She hit the send button and waited for the response. A minute later the phone buzzed in her hand and she looked down.

"He is risen indeed … hallelujah!"

Her face broke into a huge smile, and suddenly the phone buzzed again....

"PS ... thanks for the prayer."
Todd Tribble is a 32-year-old youth minister at Hopeful Lutheran Church in Florence, KY. He has been writing for the last year and is a regular contributor to FaithWriters' Magazine, as well as other Christian publications. He finds writing to be an exciting venture and hopes people can draw strength from it. Todd also writes for his blog at http://www.perfection-is-overrated.blogspot.com. If you would like to write to Todd, you can do so via through the Letters page of this magazine.