schreech_owl_250x365I still shiver when I hear the distinct howls of a coyote pack because I know they are bound for destruction. I heard them almost every night as I was growing up on the Texas prairie. But I never heard a screech owl until I came to West Virginia in 1973.

The first time was one night shortly after we moved. The screech pierced the darkness several times, like a woman in terrible distress. I ran to Emory. “Do you hear that poor lady screaming?” I cried. “Why doesn’t someone help her?”

He laughed. “That’s a screech owl!” Many times since then I have heard it, but I’ve never gotten used to it.

Late one evening a few weeks back we were sitting on the front porch enjoying the bats and fireflies, when, once again, from deep in the hollow came the distressing cry of the owl. But this time I shivered for another reason. It reminded me of the demon possessed man of Gadara who roamed naked in the tombs, always crying out and cutting himself. (See Mark 5:1-15)


Beloved, can we not hear the cries of hurting souls everywhere; souls who are being destroyed by the powers of the evil one’s pack of coyotes?  They are all around us, but often their cries fall on deaf ears. Can we not hear them?

Once upon a time I was one of those who cried until someone came to me, and I will be eternally grateful. Now, I want to keep my ears, eyes and heart tuned to hear even the silent cries of broken humanity.

But that’s not the end of the story. After Jesus came and delivered him, he was found sitting and clothed and in his right mind. Now I want to be one of those who will go and tell all my friends what God has done for me. Will you join me?  –Rebecca Somoskey