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.