36: The Quiet Voice

36: The Quiet Voice

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

The Quiet Voice

Don’t go against your inner knowing. Just don’t. Trust yourself.

~Maria Erving

I was walking to my car in the parking lot when I heard a soft voice over my left shoulder: Don’t drive away.

I spun around. Nobody stood there. I shrugged and reached for the car door. Again, the voice whispered, Don’t drive away. Was someone playing a trick on me? I glanced into my car — nothing strange there. My store coupons were still on the dashboard; the folded army blanket was still on the back seat. Everything seemed to be in order. Yet somehow I felt I must obey this strange and soft voice.

I walked around to the back of the car. Again, things appeared normal. The only sound I heard was the buzz of summer bugs. Down the block, I could hear several children playing hide-and-seek. All was well. I shook my head and turned to enter my car. But the voice came again: Don’t drive away.

The hair on my arms stood up although it was a sweltering day.

I walked around the car again, looking in the windows. Then I glanced down at the ground. And that’s when my knees buckled. I had to grab the car door to avoid falling. For there, under the car, I saw a child’s arm — a skinny, little arm sticking out of a red T-shirt.

I must have made a sound — a gasp or something — for the child who had been hiding under my car pushed his way out. He stood in front of me, brushing the gravel from his shirt. While I stood there in complete shock, he grinned, said “Hi,” and then ran across the parking lot to his friends.

If I had ignored that quiet voice, that innocent child would have been directly under the wheels of my car.

Somehow I stumbled into my car. And then I had to sit there for a long time before I could drive away.

Listen to that voice if you hear it. Listen to that wise and quiet voice.

~Pat Lay Wilson

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