Into the Whirlwind

I wrote this almost two decades ago. At the time, I did not publicly speak of my experiences, though I did tell my priests that this was really the best description I could muster of what I saw when I was taken into the whirlwind after I gave my final commitment to accept whatever work was given to me. Oh, how I wish I could convey to you how tenderly God reaches out to each of His children. We have enough new readers that this, one of my favorite columns, needs a repeat.

The Next Right Step

job cosmos

Since God’s interaction with each person is so intimately personal how, then, do we encounter Him properly and help others to do so? However interesting it might be for a finger to explain its function to a foot, it won’t be terribly helpful in teaching the foot to walk. One of the best answers to this question is to be found in the most misunderstood and misinterpreted book of the Bible; the Old Testament Book of Job.

There is good reason why many skim over – or skip entirely – the Book of Job. It turns the nostrums of traditional piety upside down. As it opens we are introduced to Job, a just and pious man who is blessed in all his affairs. He is prosperous, healthy and has a big, joyful family. In fact, Job is so notable for his good-natured righteousness that God boasts of him before the…

View original post 2,103 more words

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Into the Whirlwind

  1. Centurion_Cornelius says:

    Thank you for this, Charlie. Its wisdom is immeasurable.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Kati says:

    You know something, Charlie…
    …I remember this title from back when you first posted it…but I never read it. It is truly wonderful and I am so glad that you re-posted it. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to really HEAR what you were saying through it back then….because I now find it extremely PROFOUND! Thank you so very much! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beckita says:

    Absolutely mind-boggling, Charlie! Awe-inspiring, particularly in light of this line from your intro: Oh, how I wish I could convey to you how tenderly God reaches out to each of His children. Thank you.


  4. Mary Ann says:

    I am Mary Ann Parks. My email address: Please contact me if you are interested in a San Antonio area event. I haven’t been able to find anyone via the usual means so am publishing my email as suggested in Charlie’s guidelines..


  5. marie says:

    I am so happy to read this post again. It is beautiful and uplifting, as are many of the comments.

    Sadly, our priests here, who are Neo-Catechumenate, state categorically that no such person as Job ever existed and that the entire Book of Job is a work of fiction..sigh …


    • charliej373 says:

      Well, Marie, don’t be too rough on your priests there. Even if Job was an extended parable, it does not change God’s message at all. We know that when Jesus – who is the incarnation of God – walked the earth, he sometimes taught literally and sometimes used parables. In both cases He was teaching. Now if your priests think the whole Bible is a fiction, than you have cause for sorrow with them. But if they think the Book of Job is an extended parable, but respect the lesson it conveys, they may be very faithful and orthodox. But I know what you mean. I have met clerics who speak of the “resurrection event” and use other little codes to show they think the entire Bible is just made up and that they are way too smart for that. They will be shaken out of their vanity very soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CrewDog says:

    Heartlight Daily Verse – August 10
    Psalms 46:1
    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    Where can we go when all the walls fall and all the armies crumble and all hope is lost? To the eternal God, who is our Father. He preserved Israel through the most difficult of times, protected the Bible from those who would eradicate it, and has led his Church through troubles and triumphs through the centuries. He will do the same with us until he brings us home to himself.
    My Rock, My Hope, and My Protector, I thank you for preserving my life. I thank you for hearing my cries for help and healing. I thank you for guiding my feet into ways that have been a blessing. Please, O God, stay close by as I face the stresses and challenges in my life. Through your Spirit, enable me to grow and be an example to others as I pass through life’s storm. Through Jesus I ask it. Amen.
    Visit for more

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Matthew says:

    I was molested as a child. Decades later a part of my heart is still broken and in agony. I often stand with those who think Job wimped out in the end – he should have held God to account. How do I overcome the ANGER, especially at God? He worked miracles to save others but not me.
    How do I forgive God??

    Liked by 2 people

    • charliej373 says:

      It is an important question, Matthew. I have a full down day on Wednesday. I need hours of un interrupted concentration to write on the weightiest of matters. My work on that day will be devoted to the unmerited suffering of the innocent, to the plaintive cries of atheists, and going into my sorrow over Joey Cronin. But I can’t give it the justice it deserves on the fly, so I will wait until then.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mack says:

      I will pray for you, Matthew, that is surely a deep suffering that you have had. Sometimes all we can do is “stand in the cross and hurt,” as one spiritual writer put it. We can send up our anger and sorrow and pain to Jesus on the cross. He will take it in, for he has already died to it. No matter how long it takes, he will send healing grace.


    • Bob says:

      I would say only this Matthew and that is that our God is verrrry Big and He can take your anger and He is not afraid of it so let it out to God and keep talking to Him and see how He will lead you through your great storm to be a sign of hope, perhaps to others who have suffered as you have. God Bless!


    • Mary W. says:

      This may not be any consolation to you Matthew but there are probably more of us out there than you think. You are not alone in having to relive and deal with the pain of past molestation. It is only some 18 years ago(I am 70) where I was able to forgive the person, a relative, for doing that to me. I did not forgive directly but indirectly and that took many years of praying and trying to understand why it happened to an 8 year old girl whose dad passed away when she was 6. I always thought that if God allowed my dad to live this would not have happened to me. There were no therapists around to help me out then and I had no vocabulary or confidence to explain what happened to me. This left me open for other forms of abuse I believe. I have trouble explaining my feelings because of what happened to me. Then something occurred about 6 months ago. It involved my 40 year old son who is somehow very open with me about delicate matters. We and he were having some emotional times and he needed to tell me that he had been violated when he was about 8 years old ….by a relative as well. I then was able to tell him of my past experience. Because of these revelations the tensions we have kept hidden all these years have eased. I am very grateful for this gift. I pray you receive one in due time.

      Keep asking God to heal this wound of yours and to allow you to understand why it occurred. Forgive whoever did it to you. Forgive over and over again. Do not allow that past violation to lead you to despair. I try to recall how Our Lord was so violated and abused during his passion, and even before that. He felt abandoned but continued on His mission. We must believe we have a mission which allows us to use this experience of ours. My telling you that I understand what you suffered is part of my mission, I hope.
      He loves us in a special way Matthew. I pray He reveals His love for you Matthew.

      Liked by 1 person

    • marie says:

      Dear Matthew, I know you are awaiting a post by Charlie on the suffering of the innocent. Meantime, perhaps you might like to read this post by Father Gordon MacRae over at ‘These Stone Walls’:

      God bless you


  8. gettimothy says:

    Hi Charlie,

    First off, thank you for your ministry; I thank God for your work.

    If you have time to answer a question on “putting stock in” or “impugning meaning to” stuff like the following example is illustrative:

    The EPA just poisoned the Animas river (either accidentally or intentionally). The event and pictures strike me as symbolic, or maybe I am looking for symbolism. Anyway I initially thought “Animas rhymes with animus” and thought “poisoned animus” does describe the attitude of many in d.c. However, I looked up “Animas” and it is a word distinct from “animus”. From here
    I read:
    1. The inner self of an individual; the soul.
    2. In Jungian psychology, the unconscious or true inner self of an individual, as opposed to the persona, or outer aspect of the personality.
    3. In Jungian psychology, the feminine inner personality as present in the unconscious of the male.

    So, now instead of “poisoned animus”, I see 1. “poisoned soul”, 2. “poisonous true inner self” 3. “poisoned feminine personality” and think, “sounds about right” and also think “God is telling me something here”.

    Do you encounter stuff like that?

    Please do not waste effort on this question if you are busy with more important work.

    Grace and peace.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s