Tuesday, 2 July 2013

In the dead of the night…

Quietly, on tiptoes, I walked around the house, listening for the sound that woke me up. Through the silent corridors, down the deserted walkways, I heard nothing, not even the sound of my bare feet against the cold tiled floor. I stopped and listened again, and now I heard whispers coming from the floor below. I listened again; nothing was to be heard. My mind must be playing games. I was certain it was going to be a quiet uneventful night and I had gone to bed earlier than usual after uttering my prayers: Please keep me safe, deliver me from all evil. Why did I begin to hear whispers in the dead of the night? I listened again and there they were—whispers coming from below, like voices, beckoning me to come to the floor underneath. There was an overwhelming feeling to follow the whispers, and so I did.
 
Continuing across the hallway and down a flight of steps, I paused at the landing and thought about what I was doing. Shouldn’t I go back upstairs and wake someone up? I wondered at my decision to solve this mystery alone. As I contemplated my final action, the whispers came to me a little louder, a little more clearly. They were coming from behind the laundry door. At that time of the night, I knew no one would be in the laundry, or at least no one was expected to be there. Fear caused my body to come out in goose bumps and rotted me to the spot, a rigid statue. Every nerve in my body stood at alert, ready to fight or flee. In a few seconds I took control of my mind and forced my heartbeat to slow down. I was determined to take on whatever was beyond the wooden door. I stretched out my hand in a last attempt to solve the mystery of the whispering voices. Turning the metal knob anticlockwise, I heard it give a click sound and then pushed the door open slowly. The whispers stopped as the door opened.
 
Drawing in some air, I braced myself, walked into the dark room and switched on the light. Nothing in the room was out of place. Nothing seemed strange. Where were the whispers coming from?  Straight ahead all I could see was the ironing table and a few rumpled articles of clothing. This was becoming more puzzling. I felt an inner pull towards the ironing table but immediately turned to leave the room, deciding I need not solve the mystery anymore. The night was almost spent and the day would soon come upon me. I needed the rest and no longer cared about the whispers.
 
Turning to leave the room, I switched off the light but abruptly found myself transfixed. I wanted to leave but I couldn’t move. I could tell there was a presence in the room, but I saw no one. The pull towards the ironing table was now overwhelming as a sudden premonition enveloped my entire being. I instinctively knew something was going to happen, that something would go terribly wrong. I began to pray in my mind, too stunned to utter a word. I felt compelled to turn back to the table. I walked back to that ironing table and there was the mystery, right there beneath it—the pressing iron, still plugged into its power source, and turned on! A wave of emotion washed over me: anger at the person who forgot to unplug it and gratitude that I had discovered it when I did. I wondered what could have happened if I had gone back to bed without checking beneath the table. There could have been a fire; we could have lost all, but the disaster was averted because of the mysterious whispers in the dead of the night.
 
If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, "Here is the road. Follow it." Isaiah 30:21
 

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