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The Ignored Call
by Jonita (Jay) Johnson
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Jonita L. (Jay) Johnson

The Ignored Call

November 22, 1963 my last day at work. I was leaving home for the first time to live with relatives I’d never met before. I was an adult, and I was free. I was so excited. Nothing could stop me from going to Kansas City, Mo. When I came home from work and turned on the TV I learned President Kennedy had been shot, later I heard he was killed. This was unheard of in the United States. This was ugly, just like the dreams I had been having. Maybe that’s what the dreams were trying to alert me to. Wow, this was powerful.

Several months before when I first started planning to go to Kansas City, I was lying in bed. My mom and I lived together in a large, three- room apartment. The bedroom was connected to the living room by French doors. Mom was in the living room watching TV. As I lay there almost sleep I heard my name. She knew I had to go to work, why was she disturbing me; so I answered “Mam?” She said, “What?”
“Mama you called me, what?” She replied that she hadn’t, so I tried to go back to sleep. This time I wasn’t sleep, and I heard my name, I thought she was playing a game with me, why I don’t know. So I got up out of bed and went into the living room. “Mama, I heard you clearly say Wanda.” Again she replied, “No I didn’t.” Then she said something that really scared me. “Wanda, if you hear it again, answer yes Lord.”

I went back to bed, but I thought she had lost it. And no matter what, I wasn’t going to reply to something that wasn’t there – she was crazy. Well, I did hear it again. I pulled the covers over my head and went to sleep.

At 17 I didn’t pay any attention to voices coming out of nowhere. With so much happening in my life, I put it out of my mind, but I never completely forgot it.

At some point before the assassination of President Kennedy, I started having dreams. The same dream EVERY night. Mama was scared for me, and tried to talk me out of going, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I was free, Black and almost grown at 18.

The Dream: I was getting on a Greyhound bus. Every seat was taken, and there was still one for me. I saw other young people of different races. There were old people and middle- aged people, most were smiling and ready to leave. The driver came on last, greeted everyone, and shut the doors. I pulled out a fashion magazine and was engrossed. When I looked up at the people around me, they had turned into animals; some farm, some wild. I was the only one who was normal. Even the driver had turned into a big hog. I was terrified. No one said anything to me, but they glared, and watched my every move.

When the bus pulled into a farm for a stop, everyone turned into regular people right before my eyes. They got off, but I wasn’t allowed to leave the bus. I tried to pry the doors open; they were locked, and the driver, who had turned into a hog in a uniform, stood outside holding the key and laughing. I woke up always in a sweat and scared.

Naturally I told mama about it, and she tried to talk me out of going. I wouldn't hear any of that talk, so I continued to prepare to leave.

This dream continued until I left on a train to Kansas City. When I got there I had nothing to fear, my family were great, respectable, Christian people. I found a job at a hospital, and made friends with a beautiful girl my age. We worked, drank and partied hard together.

It was my dream to be a model. So when I found an ad in the newspaper for models wanted, I answered it. My friend went with me, and we took great pictures. A week later they called me back and said, they needed one more girl for a shoot, would I come in. I did. I was paid big money for some slightly (okay, more than) indecent pictures. I knew they were wrong, but what could it hurt. The money was more than a months salary. A week later, I was arrested and taken to jail. Being that I had just turned 18 one month before, I was tried as an adult.

Again God intervened on my behalf, everyone with me served time, but me. To this day I don’t understand why, except for the grace of God.

The dream was a warning of what was to come. I didn’t want to hear Him speak to me while I was still at home and safe. I didn’t listen to His voice calling my name to get my attention and lead me out of harms way. God had tried to give me warning, but I wanted what I wanted.
How often do we as Christians ignore God’s calls? The God we serve loves us so much, and makes every attempt to lead and guide us into His perfect plan for our lives. Over the years, God has continued to help me through dreams, when I turn my questions about them to Him.
Parents teach your children that God is alive and well, and still converses with us. Help them while they are young to know the history of what the Bible teaches. Show them through the Word, that throughout history God worked through ordinary, everyday, not so good, and certainly not perfect people to carry His message of Love to the world.

Teach them to listen for His voice in their life, and not ignore His call.

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