Two hundred miles round trip, on two hours sleep, made for a long day. The car was acting strange, like it had caught my cough. Almost home, one last stop. I pulled in the drive with my eyes still open…barely open.
Alexander Scourby’s voice echoed through earphones as he read to me all the way there and back. I shut off the mini talking Bible, pulled the plugs from my ears and placed it on the passenger seat.
Grandkids poured from the house like they usually do with hugs and hellos and kisses. It was nice, but I was tired.
I shuffled into their house and found my favorite rocker, the kids were kind and their chatter floated away. Only once—no twice—did they return. Once to cover me with a blanket and flip out the footrest, and again, to offer me a big glass of ice water. I smiled and nodded and sipped the water before drifting off to sleep.
My mind complained. I hadn’t slept because I coughed most of the night. A few days before, I spent the night cleaning up a mysterious mess, which was followed by a sleepy day that devolved into chills, a headache and a sleep-robbing cough.
I was beat.
Two hundred miles I listened to the Word of God and at that moment couldn’t remember one Word that was read. My mind spinning, my throat burning, God where are You? The news is awful, innocents are slaughtered, my friend has died, my dad’s health is failing, the prayer list grows longer, the vehicle is stalling…and I can’t hear You for this stupid coughing.
Just then, I felt a hand rest on mine. I opened my eyes and my little five year old buddy, Peyton, stood smiling with earphones stuck in his ears.
I wanted to tell him that wasn’t a toy. I started to scold him for getting into the vehicle without permission…
“How do you listen to it Papa?” he said.
What could I do? I showed him how to turn it on and Alexander Scourby started reading The King James version of the Bible into the young boy’s ears. I knew he wouldn’t understand a word that was being said. I didn’t tell him who it was or what was being read. I just closed my eyes and he walked away. I figured he’d get bored in a minute or two and toss it aside.
I’m not sure how long, but after awhile I woke, there were a few more shadows in the room and I wanted to get home before it got dark. As my wife and I said our good-byes and got in the car, we wondered about Peyton, he was nowhere around.
Someone called his name, and his voice rang out from the front porch where he was sitting…listening with earphones stuck in his ears. “I’m listening to God talking” he smiled and said.
All my frustration melted.
The world was still a mess, my cough still lingered and the car still sputtered…but through the world’s noise and chatter, I knew HE was there all the while, lifting the footrest, covering me with a blanket, offering me cold water and speaking in the voice of a listening child.