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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: The Voice
By E.J. Swanson


The Voice

The sunshine was warm upon my face. I could not resist the temptation to take my slippers off and feel the grass beneath my feet. It had been three months since my accident and I had been “blindfolded” after multiple surgeries on my eyes. The year was 1955 and eye surgery was much more complicated then and required a longer period of recuperation than it does in modern times. This was my first day in the sunshine after having surgery on both eyes for detached retinas.

I had been hospitalized in an army hospital away from home and really knew no one. It could have been a very lonely time except for a man who came to see me each day for a visit. He always lingered for about an hour. He talked with me, prayed with me and read to me. His voice was deep and reassuring. He read scripture as though he had written it. Sometimes I had the feeling that he was not reading, he was just quoting.

There were times he read the morning paper to me keeping me up to date on the happenings of the world around me. One of my favorite times was when he chose to read poetry or fiction. His voice sounded like the characters, becoming a deep base or a lovely falsetto. I could not believe that hearing “ In Flanders Fields”, by John McCrae, made me want to cry. I could see the beautiful poppies blowing in the wind. He read “Boots” by Rudyard Kipling, and I felt that I could actually hear the sloshing of boots in Africa. His voice lifted me out of myself into wonderful worlds.

He would describe to me the scenes around me that I could not see. The snow fell at Fort Campbell that year and, as a girl from South Louisiana, I had never seen snow. My visitor made it seem so beautiful. Told me that is how my sin had become because of Jesus Christ. He brought me a handful of snow and let me feel and taste it.

I anticipated his visit today as I sat for the first time outside of the hospital. I could hear the sounds of planes overhead, the sounds of vehicles on the streets, the sounds of laughter of the nurses and patients as they strolled in the sunshine. Oh, how I wanted to share this spring morning with him. This was the day the bandages and the “blindfold” was to come off. He came for a little while and shared Jesus’ words from Matthew 9:29; “Then He touched their eyes saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’” With those words he left and I was never to see him again.

When the bandages were removed I asked the doctor if my visitor from the hospital would be back later. He looked puzzled and said there was no visitor from the hospital. “We have all felt sorry for you because you were so alone. But you always had such a good spirit about you. We couldn’t understand how you did it.”

The nurse responded, “there is a note here that was on your bedside table. Should I read it to you?” “Of course, I answered, please do.” I knew in my heart that it must be from him and he was too busy with other patients to be with me now.

The nurse unfolded the paper and with a rather astonished look on her face read the words, “With Love, your Reader.”

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This article has been read 559 times
Member Comments
Member Date
angelos2 wark04/22/10
A beautiful story.
It's amazing what we see through the inner eye. Great work.
AnneRene' Capp04/22/10
I loved this story! Sitting here with goosebumps of warmth and joy. What an encounter that will live on in everyone you share this with.

I can't wait for you to meet this Angel in heaven!
Gerald Shuler 04/22/10
You left a lump in my throat. Good writing.
Karen Macor04/22/10
Very touching story. Thanks for sharing it.
Kate Oliver Webb 04/22/10
I really enjoyed reading this. Your descriptions were so well done and alive; it felt as if I were there with you. (One misspelling: you meant "bass" voice rather than "base.") But that only made me hesitate a second so I could get on with the wonderful narrative. It's a beautiful and moving piece.
Joanna Stricker04/23/10
I once had a detached retina after a major move across state, no new job yet, and only six months left to finish the last (and hardest) independent study class. I still remember the fear of losing my sight and not finishing my degree after eight long years of full-time work and full-time school...so your tale definitely reminded me of God's faithfulness and help. It felt like I was sitting on the bench with you and listening to your visitor too. Good job.
Joanna Stricker04/23/10
sorry, plz edit my prior comment...full time school and part of the time full-work. I really enjoyed the piece.
Joan Campbell04/25/10
Touching story, so very beautifully written. I would love to know if this is based on a real experience? Glad to see you taking part in the Challenges!
Beth LaBuff 04/25/10
oh... I enjoyed this! Flander's Field is a favorite poem of mine too. Nice work!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/27/10
This is delightful. Like it says in the Bible we may be entertaining angels unaware.
cheryl schoenberger04/28/10
Beautiful story!! I enjoyed it very much. Angel encounter articles are my favorite.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
Congratulations in placing in the top 40 over-all and in 2nd for your level. Good job!
Patricia Turner04/30/10
This is a lovely moving piece - I'd love to know if the Reader left anything else in the note - but now I think about it, love was the best message. Congratulations on your placing at your level and 20th overall! Well done.
Charla Diehl 04/30/10
Your placements with this engaging story are well deserved. I kinda expected the reader to be the hospital chaplain, but oh, He was so much more. Truly liked this one.