Saturday, November 1, 2008

Immediately a rooster crowed.

Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

As I sat at my radio console at work, in walked one of our community service officers. Working for the police department has its perks, joking and laughing with one another is one of them. The woman began to peruse the discarded newspaper until she found what she was looking for, the horoscope section.

As she went around the room from dispatcher to dispatcher, she would ask their astrological signs and in a playful way, would read them their horoscope for the day. Being the occasional zealot, I began talking to myself about what I was going to say when she came around to me. Not a hill to die on, but surely I could speak up. I don't believe in horoscopes. God makes it very clear in his word, not to even dabble in astrology, period. I didn't want to let Him down. Even joking around, I wasn't feeling comfortable with it. “My sign is the fish.” I thought I might tell her. Or maybe I could say, “I don't believe in the stars, I go to the very one who made the stars.” Yes, that would be the perfect response to her, I thought. Changing my mind again, I jumped up to take a bathroom break. Zealot-wimp that I am, I was hoping they'd be done by the time I returned.

No such luck.

As I sat back down at my station, all eyes were on me. “Ok Joanne, your turn. What is your sign?” She smiled, newspaper in hand. Here was my chance, my opportunity to stand up for my faith, to share in truth and love that this horoscope stuff was for the birds. All eyes in the room looking at me for my answer, “Aquarius.” I chimed.

Immediately the rooster crowed.

I felt so awful. I had wanted to say one thing, but in fear of looking odd, or sounding strange, I said the exact opposite. Turning back to my radio console I thought to myself, “I am such a weak Christian. Geesh, Lord, how will you ever be able to use someone like me?” While these thoughts painfully bounced around in my head, my 911 phone line rang.

For the next twenty minutes I worked very hard to convince a nineteen year old man not to take his own life. Since he'd called from his cell phone, we also had to find a way to figure out his location so we could get him help. My heart broke listening through his tears of despair. The lack of hope he had in his life was difficult to bear. “There is a plan for your life....yes, you are worth something....” I shared with him. Thankfully, he finally decided to stop at one location until officers could respond and ascertain his welfare. Before we hung up, I told him that I would be praying for him.

Only moments before, God heard my own despair. The rooster crowed and still He chose to use me. Reminding me that none of us are perfect, all of us are weak, yet chosen for such a time as this.

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StephieAnne said...

Beautiful pictures from Homecoming - and wow, I so relate to this last post. Those peer situations can be so sticky, so touchy- and you can talk yourself into "not standing up" in so many ways - justifying all sorts of excuses.

Thank you for your honesty and the praise of how God allowed you to experience His loving second chances.

Mari said...

Joanne - I literally have goose bumps after reading this. All through the first part of your post I was marveling at how similar we are - your thoughts sound just like what I would have been thinking. (As a matter of fact - I had a similar situation at work today regarding Halloween).
Yes - the rooster crowed, BUT - God still loves us and He still uses us! What an amazing God we serve!

Anonymous said...

What a great story, Joanne. I'm so glad you shared it. For me, it's been hard transitioning from career world to mommy world and somedays it's hard to find my significance. This story reminds me of how we are all significant in God's eyes. It's a hard truth to remember. He's surely not finished with us (me) yet!

It seems like no matter how many times we rehearse in our minds how we will respond in situations, it just doesn't come out right or we feel we have failed. Live and learn, I suppose! And somehow find the courage to speak the truth!

(thanks for your nice little note on my blog..."You Are My Sunshine" is one of those songs I would sing peacefully to Owen as I cried and held him after a long, hard day when he was an infant...and now his face lights up when he hears's amazing how music can connect us!)

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with complete honesty! I understand completely how you were feeling in the moment when all eyes were on you and I also can relate to the rooster crowing because I too have made him crow. I am so thankful for a merciful, loving and forgiving God. He ALWAYS gives us another chance...I'm thankful for all the ones He has given me.

You bless me so much each time I read our blog. Keep up the great work...God will continue to bless you as you bless others.

P.S. I tagged you over at my blog for a "little...get to know you" fun. Hope you take the time to play along.

Anonymous said...

This post is awesome! I've been there too!!! I'm glad I'm not alone and that God will still use the little imperfect us...

Sandi@ My Yellow Door said...

Hi Joanne,
I was blessed to read your post. I appreciate your honesty because you stepped out in humility and allowed others to see you're not perfect. Indeed, none of us are; we are saved only by His grace. You went through the test and now you have a testimony! We have all been there and heard the rooster crow. Still, He loves us. Praise His Name!


Elizabeth M Thompson said...

Joanne, I think God often lets us fail a little test so we go to Him immediately when the big test comes. You did the right thing when it really mattered.

If you had said the right thing to your co-workers, you might have been more inclined to rely on yourself in the moments that followed. Instead, you recognized your weakness and relied on God's strength.

Susan said...

I think it's safe to say that we have all been where you were, and made the same choice. Eccl. 3:7 tells us there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. May God open up doors to share with your coworkers in His time. Until then, may you continue to be used mightily as you were in this young man's life, and as you are as you share so honestly in your blog.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

What a beautiful post. I got goosebumps reading this.

God wanted you to help the 19 year old boy on the will have many chances to minister to your coworkers.

Fran said...

Oh Joanne...I have chills. Bless you for your Life words over that boy. I'm praying for him right now.

And...we've all done what you did.
It stinks. But, we learn and pray that the next time we are a little more bold.

I love ya!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Thank you for your honesty in sharing this. I am sure we have all had similar moments.

What a wonderful way God used you on the phone though.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Well said. How many times has the rooster crowed on my behalf?! Guilty as charged. How thankful I am for a Father who uses me, inspite of me most days.

Great post.


Aly said...

Joanne -

You are certainly one of the most authentic people I know...and I love how God used you and reaffirmed you. love, me

Lisa C. said...

Thank you for sharing this post. I was just looking for other Christian women on the blogspot, and happened upon yours. What a blessing your blog is. Thank you again.



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