91: Listen and Learn

91: Listen and Learn

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable

Listen and Learn

When you listen, it’s amazing what you can learn. When you act on what you’ve learned, it’s amazing what you can change.

~Audrey McLaughlin

It was unusual for me to drive without children in the vehicle. But on this sunny, autumn afternoon, I had an appointment and left them in the capable hands of their grandparents. While driving, I enjoyed listening to music on the radio and felt calm, relaxed and a bit carefree. It was a welcome little break.

As I sat at a red light, admiring the yellows and oranges of tree-lined Center Avenue, dotted with its well-preserved Victorian mansions, I noticed that I was alone at this normally bustling intersection. Eerily, not one other car was in sight.

My confusion with the lack of traffic faded as the light turned green. But when I began to go, a very clear voice became present in the left side of my head.

It said, “Look farther down the road.”

Unable to process this, I ignored the voice and started to move forward.

The voice returned, firm and insistent. “I SAID, LOOK FARTHER DOWN THE ROAD.”

I stopped. This time there was no denying it.

Just then, a double-trailered truck plowed in front of me at about sixty miles per hour. I felt the displaced air as it passed. It had run the light at twice the posted speed. I sat frozen, my mind stunned.

Had I gone when the light turned green, my minivan and body would have been splattered all over historic Center Avenue. My two little sons would have instantly lost their mom, my husband his wife.

The voice, that inexplicable voice, did not allow disaster to unfold.

Soon, traffic was filling the corner. A horn honked at me.

I wanted to shout, “Stop. Don’t you people know what just happened?” But, of course, they didn’t know. Life kept moving, and I had to go with it.

In the years since this incident, I have frequently traversed the intersection of Center Avenue and Trumbull. Traffic is always present. I cross with a reverent respect for the voice that allowed me to still be here today. And, in a profoundly comforting way, I know that I am not alone . . . ever . . . anywhere.

As an aside: Today, I was struggling with whether or not I really wanted to share this story.

I prayed, “Lord, if it is okay with you, I’ll send this. If not, somehow let your answer be evident.”

As I returned from the grocery store and pulled my car into the garage, a song came on my Christian radio station, the repetitive chorus playing, “Write your story, write your story.” I found myself singing along, as I have heard this song many times. I turned off the car, not realizing what I was singing. Then, it hit me. I turned the radio back on to confirm. Sure enough, Francesca Battistelli, was still singing “Write Your Story.”

This answer was also crystal clear.

~Ann Marie

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners