A Wrong Number — a Gift in Dark Times

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Last night I was reading about the Breonna Taylor verdict when my phone rang. Since the number was unknown, I let it go to voicemail. I don’t have a lot of extra energy these days. But I did listen to the message. The voice, which belonged to an older woman, was completely unfamiliar.

Ricky, its Mom. I don’t need you for anything, darling, I just wanted you to look up a scripture for me, but that’s alright. My Bible is so heavy I can’t lift it anymore. Thanks anyway. Don’t call me back, darling, it’s all right.

Of course I called her back. I wanted to let her know she’d gotten a wrong number, plus I was curious about the scripture she had in mind.

When she picked up I explained the situation. She said her son had one of those special phones that knows everything. Sometimes he looks up scripture for her. So I asked, Which scripture do you need?

I’m trying to remember the first verse I ever memorized. But now I’m not sure. It’s John 3:16.

I said, I know that one.

She began to recite in a quavering voice and I joined in: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him —

She stopped, so I did too. But I’m not sure about the ending. Have I got it right? Does it go, ‘should not perish, but have everlasting life?’

That’s it, I said. Exactly right.

Oh good, she said in relief. We chatted a bit more, then said our goodbyes.

I asked my email subscribers whether they would call her again, if they were me. I was inundated with responses. The story apparently hit a nerve with folks. I think we’re all craving connection during these isolated times. Feel free to sign up for my email list, or to leave a comment.


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