The Book of Joel

“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand…” (Joel 2:1)
Here Joel is the watchman warning the people of the plague of Locusts who will devour all the vegetation and make the land have the appearance of death, dry as if to not have any life. It will be devoured by gluttony and greed and selfishness—qualities we can give to the locusts as they work on these terms. This reminded me of Isak Dinesen’s experience with the grasshoppers on her farm in Africa. In her book, ‘Out of Africa’, she explains the intense fear the people have of these creatures. A messenger would ride from town-to-town warning farmers of their coming. They would come in swarms. They would black out the sky. People would try to hold them back, but their numbers were so great it was no use. The devastation was immense.
A few years ago, I kept getting a waking vision of a train coming at me. I saw the light and felt the speed of the train as it barreled toward me. I knew it would hit me, I knew, and I could feel something terrible was coming but like most ‘visions’, I disregarded it as my imagination and ignored all warnings to prepare myself for disaster. What could I have done anyway when it hit so to blackout the sky? Not a year later disaster struck my family more than once and left us all terribly injured emotionally for many years and still recovering. Is it possible that we have watchmen for our own lives? Would we call it the Holy Spirit? When it moves, when it aches, when it laughs will we disregard it as our imagination? Or will we heed its gestures to love more, help more, say more?

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