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THE KNOCK

The wind howled as it raced down the passageway to the side of the house. I felt that winter shudder and went to the window to pull the curtains. It was one of those evenings where you were pleased you were indoors in the warm. I was on my own, I had worked on some artwork whilst my wife and children had gone away for the weekend. I looked out the window and watched as leaves swirled and trees jostled under the moonlit evening. December had arrived, the days were short & the year was racing to a calender end. The house was relatively quiet, the radio was on upstairs, the evening football game was coming to a dull end with both teams settling for a boring draw. The rugby earlier in the day though was a frantic affair with tackles flying and some great tries. The mighty All-Blacks had been run close by a young, eager England team full of spirit.

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Photograph – Kevin Moore

I was half way up the stairs when there was what seemed like the faint knock on the front door. I paused wondering if I had heard correctly, as the wind was probably playing tricks, there was silence. I carried on upstairs when the knock came again only this time stronger and unmistakeable. As I went downstairs I wondered who it could be at this time on such a yucky evening. I flicked on the porch light and looked out through the front door glass but it was too dark to see anything. I opened the door somewhat guardedly to see a man in the shadows several metres away. Before I could say hello, the man greeted me:. “Hello Kevin, I was in the area and thought I would come to see you.” I was trying to place his calm voice and accent. He then walked out of the shadows so I could make out his features more clearly. His face was familiar but I did not recognize him and looked puzzled. There was a pause and then I said: “You will have to help me, where do I know you from?”

“Do you remember the time when you were climbing the brick walls on the way home from Barnehurst Junior school? You got to the tall brick gate post and leapt across.” I was speechless and was thinking how would anyone know that? “Yes, I replied, I was a lad at eight years old and fell!”

“Do you remember what happened?” the stranger said. I paused remembering the incident as clear as day.

“I landed in a kneeling position without hurting myself and wondered how?” I replied. He just smiled and calmly said, “do you remember the trip home from Nuneaton to Birmingham when you were in the front passenger seat with a car full of students? The car skidded and came off the road and cleared some trees and rolled a number to times but no one killed.” I was flabbergasted, “how did you know that?” I said, as a gust of wind shot down the pathway bringing with it dust, leaves and sweet wrappers from a paper bag. He looked at me and said, “Kevin, I know you, may I come in?” I looked into his face and eyes, he was sincere, his gaze unwavering. I found myself saying, “yes, please do come in, it’s too cold to be having a conversation on the doorstep.”

He entered the light of the porch and I could see he was well built with a long brown coat. He was bearded and wore a thick bennie hat. I beckoned him into the hallway that was a mess of shoes and boots. “Sorry about the mess, we all have a habit of kicking off the shoes at the end of the day.” He laughed and asked if he could kick off his shoes. “Oh that feels good,” he said. “Would you like a drink of tea or coffee?” I offered. “Coffee, black, thanks.” He replied.

When I brought the coffee into the lounge he was looking at the photo of my mum and dad on the sideboard. He didn’t say anything but I expected him to, there was silence as I waited. “Your mother came to know me just before the second world war began when she was five.” I nodded, speechless. “Your dad was many years older but came through in his latter years.” Tears filled my eyes as I tried to comprehend what was happening. This man, this stranger in the night knew me and my family history, unmistakeably!

“Kevin, I have come to encourage you. You must keep using the gift I have given you, take the opportunities in life I present, don’t waste them, don’t spurn any time. The world is in turmoil, there is much shallowness, people living without strong foundations, there will be much soul searching in the years to come.”

It took me a while to be able to speak, but he allowed me time to space to think. At last words came out of my mouth, I was hesitant and unsure where I was going as I asked a question. “If, I mean, er, what happened when I was going to the art college on that morning as I came to the crossroads and what was the name of the pub opposite?  He looked intently at me and replied calmly:

“You started walking a cross the road when a car unbeknown to you was to come from behind you and turn left at speed. Your guardian angel took evasive action to save your life and grabbed you from behind putting his arms around you and pulling you backwards over the curb as the car came round the corner, saving your life at 19 years of age. The pub opposite was the Cross Keys and the place was Canterbury and it was 1978.”

Oh gosh! I was opened mouthed and just froze. Only one person could know that, oh boy!

“Your guardian angel has stepped in a few times in your life to date, the wall incident being the first time and the car accident another.”

“Have I ever met him?”I asked.

“Sometimes angels appear as people and you wouldn’t know. They are discreet and often do their work invisibly without fuss and drawing any attention.”

I paused before asking the question; “what do you want from my life?”

“I want you to follow me and do the things I lead you to do with all your energy. Be prayerful, listening to my Spirit and reading the Bible. I will speak to you, nudge you, prompt you, restrain you and inspire you as you look to me. Be humble, be bold, abide in me and my word.”

Feeling more confident I asked, “what about the world and the evil stuff going at present?”

“There will be wars and rumours of wars until my return. The world will go towards the end game as prophesied and the pieces on the board will align themselves against Israel. There will be bloodshed and famine, earthquake and pestilence, plague and disease, there will be searching for truth, there will be many coming to faith in me, there will be persecution, then I will return in glory. Only my Father in heaven knows when this will occur so don’t let anyone fool you. Focus instead on the work I have for you to do, daily. For each day I have given the provision of wisdom and strength, peace and energy. Be obedient to the task at hand, be faithful and true and I will be with you, guiding you to fulfill your purpose in life.”

He smiled as he stood up and hugged me and said he must now be going. He thanked me for the coffee and encouraged me to use the chess and art. There’s an old argyle saying, “cumma dolly, keep it up!”

I grinned and followed him to the door as he knelt to put on his shoes.

He gave me a firm handshake and then put his hand on my shoulder and prayed for me whilst looking upwards. I kept my eyes open looking at him as he intently seemed to look into the depths of heaven. The intimacy he had with his Father was beyond words. He finished, smiled and was gone. Wow!

As I looked into the dark shadows of the night, leaves circled furiously in the stiffening breeze. I heard His voice speaking these truths into my mind…

You are My workmanship, created in Me to do good works… Ephesians 2:10

I will always be with you, do not be afraid or discouraged… Joshua 1:9

You did not chose Me, but I chose you & appointed you to go & bear lasting fruit… John 15:16

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Written by Kevin Moore

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