JOY SYLVESTER JOHNSON: I Heard You

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Joy Sylvester Johnson

Two of the best things about living in the country is the silence and the darkness at night.

Far from the city lights I can actually see the stars.

Far from the traffic and the sirens and the noise of commerce, I can hear things I could not hear before.

In these early morning hours, although my cabin is many miles from the tracks that wind through southwest Virginia, I heard the whistle of your train.

I know you must, by regulation, blow your whistle whenever you pass crossings like the one three miles from my cabin.

I wonder, when you blow the whistle if you ever wonder about who is listening.

Tonight, it was me.

I was awakened. (I think it was the silence that woke me.)

Years ago, my husband told me that when this happens, it is God trying to get my attention.

As I lay in the dark silence, I wondered about who I was supposed to be praying for. It was just at that moment, I heard your whistle.

I do not know you. I could not pick you out in a crowd. I don’t know your voice or your passions or who you consider your kin, but tonight, in the dark silence of mountain living, I heard you and knew tonight my prayer of thanksgiving would be for you.

God bless the one who drives the train tonight.

I heard You.

Joy Sylvester Johnson