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Josiah didn't care if he was speaking like a madman seeing phantoms. He had something to say, and he hoped God was listening.

"You've never cared about me before, but I've a gripe with you, God. Look what You've done to Emma! You knew I'd break her heart, and yet You gave her to me-- plopped her in my lap like a star falling from the heavens. Emma's a good woman. She didn't deserve me, and now she's crying!" Josiah stared at the moon, waiting for a response. "Didn't You hear me, God? Emma's crying! Don't You care?"

The only reply Josiah heard, was the whistle of the wind as it whipped past his hiding place in the rocks.

"Emma's all wrong about You! You don't care one whit about her, do You?"

Again, there was no reply. Josiah grinned bitterly. That's what he thought.

Somewhere in the recesses of Josiah's heart, he suddenly remembered, (of all things), a Bible verse Emma had once read out loud. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

There was a lump in Josiah's throat. He didn't dare say another word, for now he was certain he was in the presence of God. Did God really care about Emma? or even what happened to a lone mountain man with mixed blood? Josiah had heard about the cross where Jesus went to die for the sins of the world, and for the first time, it suddenly meant a lot to him. It meant God cared, and right there, beneath the large brilliant moon, Josiah knew God cared about Emma.

From what that verse had claimed, God also cared about Josiah Brown.

The revelation sank into Josiah's soul, until he heard the faint words once more: "Will you surrender?"

"What would I have to surrender?" asked Josiah. Immediately, his conscience bare witness against him. He was a self-confessed scoundrel, who was at this very moment breaking his wife's heart. "All right, God. I'll give up whoring. I'm going to need a powerful lot of help from You, though, fer that sin runs mighty deep. What else?"

Again, Josiah didn't have long to wait. Whether he had wanted to pay attention to those many times Emma read aloud from the Bible, or not, his memory was alive with God's words. Would he repent of all his sins, and believe on the name of Jesus? He recalled once more, "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God was making the offer, but Josiah needed to accept it, if he were to have that everlasting life the Bible spoke of.

"It's too late fer me, God. I reckon I've about broke every rule there is, and there ain't no saving my soul."

Whosever. That single word echoed in Josiah's heart with startling clarity. Whosoever didn't mean someone else-- it meant HIM.

Wiping the wet collecting in his eyes, Josiah got down on his knees. "I surrender," he said in a hushed voice, "I surrender." In the clefts of the rocks, Josiah gave his heart to God.

Lifting his head from prayer, Josiah saw the clouds part even more to reveal an endless night sky. Treetops silhouetted against a large brilliant moon, while stars shimmered so brightly they stunned Josiah's eyes. He felt as though the scales of his former life were falling away from his vision, and he were seeing everything for the first time. How had he not noticed this, before? The raw majesty of the Creator's hand was plainly evident everywhere Josiah looked.

Overwhelmed with awe, Josiah sank back in the snow and wept.

It was some time later when Emma heard Josiah's return. She wasn't quite sure how long he had been gone, for she had cried herself to sleep, only to be roused by the sound of rustling cottonwood boughs as he crawled inside.
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