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Time The Voice of Reason and Salvation
By Dan Blankenship

The wind kicked up a dust devil that encircled the blue Chevy S-10, and Harold Yorker grinned with pleasure at the irony. Mother Nature had decided to make it known she was aware of just what a whirlwind Harold's life had become. It was through no fault of his own--he believed--that insurmountable troubles had shackled his will to even think of making a comeback. He would use his last bit of cash to drink himself into a stupor, and the pain of failure would be driven back for a few short hours.

So he thought.

Is this why you were born?

Harold was sure he heard a voice as he was about to open the truck door.

Are you willing to give up this easy?

Now he was absolutely sure he heard a voice. But he saw no one around. He was alone in his truck, outside a bar in the middle of Arizona. There was not another soul in the parking lot.

Can a man like you not say he has no other way out than to turn from the path of righteousness?

"God? Is that you?" Harold whispered in no general direction, not even up.

Has any other offered you the voice of reason and salvation?

"But God, everything has gone wrong. I've lost my job, my wife, my home, and even my will to live."

And yet a twirl of dust was able to create a smile to your lips. Have you not learned that my grace is all around and that joy can be found in all that surrounds you?Must the rocks cry out such a decree? Or can you see the beauty in every moment I have given you for this world and the next?

Harold was beside himself with remorse. He began to shake. God was speaking directly to him. He was sure he wasn't hallucinating because he had not taken any drugs or consumed any alcohol. God had surprised him with a visit he had never expected or before experienced.

Your life belongs to me. Your compassion can bring others to know a peace that surpasses earthly pleasures. Your commitment to a life in balance with My Holy Word can advance the Kingdom of Heaven. Do not give in to doubt, fear, or regret, but hold fast to faith, braveness, and integrity, for I am with you even when you believe I am not. I did not create you with failure in mind. Do not be surprised by My words, but be inspired to do righteous deeds in My name.

Harold bowed his head to the top of the steering wheel and began to weep uncontrollably. This event was simply too overwhelming, too supernatural, and too demanding. Yet, as he began to ask God for forgiveness for his backsliding, he could feel his will to live grow. He wanted to do what was right, for the Lord. He wanted to have compassion for those around him. And most of all, he wanted to be a man without excuses for his failure. He wanted holiness and supernatural joy to replace his self-pity and doubt.

God's words, spoken ever so plainly, had surprised Harold. His commitment and rejuvenated faith after such a blessed event had not surprised him, in the least; for when the Holy Spirit speaks to a man's heart, no one should find the end result a surprise.
DAN BLANKENSHIP, the author of The Running Girl, lives with his wife and two daughters in Lowell, Indiana. He is the former race director of the Buckley 5 Miler cross-country race and has written three short stories appearing in Catalyst Literary Journal. Dan's writing is inspired by the fictional works of C.S. Lewis, Frank Peretti, and Randy Alcorn. If you would like to write to Dan, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.