Red looked down, breaking his stare of the smiling squirrel, picking up the acorn. He attempted to contemplate the seed as something symbolic of this afternoons interviews.
"Hey, 'Red', it's time for lunch; let's go. Brian yelled from the news van.
"I'll just sit here for a while. Come back when you're done with lunch." Red continued to twirl the acorn stem in his fingers as he muttered, "In a nutshell. A nutcase – me or these people."
Before his next deep, philosophical, contemplative thought he heard a cracking noise from overhead. As he caught a glimpse of the laughing squirrel suddenly everything went – black.
Red was aware of his own presence, but was unable to see anything. It was black as being in a pot of coffee. He also became aware of his aloneness. He became cold – very cold.
In a flash, a bright light shone – but it didn't blind Red. A comforting warmth enveloped him like a fluffy comforter. He couldn't determine what he was standing on. Searching for what supported him, he became puzzled by the realization - he was not casting a shadow. He paused, becoming aware of a sense of security he hadn't felt since…since; his mother's womb!
From behind him Red heard a soft voice that carried so much authority the sound of his name caused him to turn around. Before him stood two figures. Glory shone more brightly than what already existed, yet Red was not blinded.
"The Lamb of God." Came softly across his lips as he bowed down. At that moment Jesus seemed to fade away.
The other figure remained saying, "Do not bow to me. Rise. My name is Helper. I'm a messenger of God."
Red stood up still making an effort to comprehend these events.
"From the LORD, 'Reginald David MacPherson, you are to turn from your sinful ways, out of blackness. Use the talents the I have given you for My glory.'"
Silence in heaven for five minutes.
"The LORD has a work for you to do. What say you?"
Red found it strange he didn't say yes immediately. Something was battling within him – but it finally came out, "Y -Yes, I will change my ways." As quick as the brightness came – it was gone; again it was black. This time not feeling alone. Not feeling cold. In fact, he detected a slight breeze brushing across his face. The sound of a vehicle…the door shutting…footsteps.
"Hey 'Red'. I brought back a grilled chicken sandwich. These thing were good and….What happened to you?" Brian knelt down gently placing his hand on Red's jaw to get a better look at the laceration on Red's head. Blood had trickled down the side of Red's head, but the injury appeared to cause mostly a good-sized knot on the head. "Don't move! I'll get the first-aid kit."
County hospitals are always busy. So it wasn't till later in the afternoon that Brian and Red were headed back to their hotel room. Red asked, "You really believe all that stuff about Jesus that you've been tellin' me?"
That wasn't really how Red wanted that to come out, but it was foreign that Red would initiate a conversation about Jesus. Brian affirmed The question and Red proceeded to share his encounter. Brian had to pull the van over because of his excitement.
That evening Red and Brian entered the diner. As Red Looked around, he saw the woman whom he'd interviewed that morning. A "voice" whispered in his ear, "She needs encouragement." Red didn't "hear" the voice.
While waiting for their order, Red found himself glancing at the woman, something drew his attention to her. It wasn't a physical attraction, as she was almost twice his age. Then he thought he heard a whisper, "She needs encouragement."
"Excuse me, Brian." Red went over to the woman's table. "Excuse me, ma'am. May I speak with you just a moment?"
"You're that rude fella I spoke with this mornin'." She didn't look pleased. "You have somethin' you wantin' to know about 'Goosey Lucy'?" She popped out a chuckle.
"I want to apologize about that. I'd like to properly introduce myself." Red extended a hand. "Reggie MacPherson."
Extending her hand she said, "Betty McDonald." An odd moment of silence occurred when Betty said, "Don't go there."
Reggie smiled, sat down, and began asking sincere questions about the community, farming, and Betty's granddaughter; who was able to finish other people's sentences.
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