Has your phone ever rang in the middle of the night?
When I say middle of the night,” I don’t mean midnight. I wasn’t snuggled up in a warm blanket with my partner’s arm around me, watching a movie as we settle in for the night. I wasn’t somewhere off the coast of Maui relaxing under a setting sun. I wasn’t outside getting a star tan. No, when I say “middle of the night,” I’m referring to four in the morning.
Four. O’ clock. In the stinkin’. Morning.
You may recognize the fourth hour from your workplace. It hits somewhere, for most of us, just before we get off work. And that means four o’ clock is a good hour for us. But did you know four o’ clock comes twice a day? My mind was blown. Although somehow, the next one around never brings as much joy as the first.
If your phone ever does go off at four in the morning, there’s no ignoring that. The second that phone rings, you know it’s mom or dad, and that crap has gone down. Four AM calls never bring good news. Or if it does, it’s news you want to get up for, like… Parents just won the Powerball. So whether crap has gone down or up, you know crap has occurred.
Four o’ clock, I pounce out of bed and just barely miss the call. As I’m trying to get my bearings together to go outside and return the call (so I don’t wake any roommates up), I get a text. And it says, “This is Dad. Call me.”
Well, now I know somebody has died, because my dad never texts me. He barely even knows how to text. So I run outside, frantically return the call, and every ring feels like ten minutes. Nobody ever answered. I figure he’s off trying to call someone else with the bad news, and that’s why he’s not picking up. After three tries, finally, someone does.
It is not my dad who answers the phone.
Me: “Hey. What’s wrong?!”
Caller: “Is this Sara?”
Me: “… …? …No.”
Caller: “Okay, I’m sorry. Hope I didn’t wake you.”
I did not even bother to tell this man that I was, indeed, asleep. There is nothing else going on at my house before sunrise. You will not find me in the kitchen making a souffle at four in the morning. I have never woken up before daylight and said, “What a great time to do my taxes.”
If I had been thinking, the number that text me was a local number. My dad is in Kentucky. But at four in the morning, you don’t think. Between the hours of midnight and seven, I’m barely alive. Anything involving rational thinking is not going to happen at four AM, because four AM is not rational.
I don’t do AM. I am a PM kind of person. So yes, sir, you woke me up. I know there are people out there who walk into work before The Lord gets up, and they just leave a trail of sunshine and cheer wherever they go. They are ready to start their day. I am not that person. Call me before daylight. Go ahead. Call me at half-past-flying-flip. But it better be because somebody has died. And even then, it had better be someone I love and cherish. Everybody else can wait until morning.
And I never did go back to sleep, so thank you for that.
“Okay, Jessie… This is the part where you incorporate Jesus in the story and share with the class.” Nope. Not this time.
“Haha… No, really.”