The Voice

In the book With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa, an acclaimed World War II battle narrative, the author Sledge describes a nighttime chat with an up from the ranks officer, 1st Lt. Edward A. (“Hillbilly”) Jones, w extensive combat experience who was verifying the horrendous nature of the previous days battle and validating the intense fear that Sledge had shamefacedly admitted experiencing throughout and before the 1944 Peleliu campaign.  Since the officer was an exemplary legend, and admitted his own fear, his words were particularly powerful.  Later Sledge noted that he remembered little of what the officer said but as a result he felt calm and “almost lighthearted.” Recall that they were in a brief nighttime pause in an intense conflict. Then Sledge relates that he heard a clear, distinct, voice that said, “You will survive the war!” He asked the officer and the other men he was with if they had heard anything and they unanimously said no. He concludes the anecdote, “But I believed God spoke to me that night on the Peleliu battlefield, and I resolved to make my life amount to something after the war.”
This is a classic example of a spiritual experience, a spontaneous encountered with what the individual believes to be the sacred.  Usually, such experiences change an individuals life permanently and constructively.  It did in this case.
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