The lonely conversation . . . “I remember the first time I said it . . . asked to take someone’s place,” he said quietly.

“What exactly . . . what words did you use,” he asked.

“Well . . . the prayer was simple . . . I asked God to take me instead.”

“Just like that . . . just take your life instead of another.”

“Precisely.”

“What happened?”

“I don’t know . . . I didn’t see him again.”

“Never?”

“Nope . . . I moved out of the building and across town.”

“Any thoughts on what happened?”

“I’d like to believe the man survived . . . but . . . “

“But what?”

“I’m still here.”

“Is it truly that simple?”

“Yes . . . yes it is. I’ve witnessed miracles . . . prayers answered both quickly . . . and eventually.”

Joseph Shanklin

March 15, 2020

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