It’s eerie how a desire I had just expressed, while talking with my dear friend Ann, was answered three days later. On Wednesday I spoke of losing touch with my childhood friends…and on Saturday a voice from my childhood calls out of the blue.
Well…it wasn’t really out of the blue. Deb’s call came out her father’s recent death and the love she has for her mother. She was hoping to find a solution to enable my dad to converse with her mom. It’s probably been close to two years since dad began losing his speech capabilities, so almost that long since this brother and sister have enjoyed a good two-way conversation. When they ‘chat’ these days, he listens while she talks. And even though dad doesn’t say much, I know by looking at his eyes how glad he is just to listen to Aunt Carol’s voice. These siblings have stood by one another through the thick and thin of their lives and these one-sided conversations are nothing more than another verse of their same old tune.
Trying to figure out how to reconnect our widowed parents offered Deb and me a chance to relive our own shared childhood stories. But to discover we shared a story of more recent vintage was almost unbelievable. And I do mean unbelievable. The weekend before Deb’s dad passed, ‘something’ told her to call her parents. By Monday night, her dad was dead and she was glad she’d listened and taken action on her premonition. Similarly, the weekend before my mom suffered her stroke, I felt a persistent longing to give up my weekend plans to go see her instead. But, rather than acting on my instincts, I followed through with my plans and made arrangements to see her the following weekend. By then she was in ICU. And even though she never regained consciousness, I talked to mom as if she could hear me for the seven weeks she laid there, hoping that the sound of my voice brought comfort even if she couldn’t understand my words. It strikes me that my one-sided conversations with mom and my Aunt’s Carol’s one-side conversations with dad are not so different to the one doing the talking.
Where do these hunches or inklings or premonitions come from? Are they voices that call from deep within us or voices that call from a world we cannot see? No matter which, they always seem to come out of the blue. And they always appear to carry a message that responds so perfectly to our needs, even if our need is not yet known. These voices out of nowhere are the true one-sided conversation. And the next time one calls, may God help my unbelief so that I too may listen.