I heard the rooster crow, a faint call blending with the morning crickets and dogs snorting and snuffling as they battle over a ball. Cawing crows, distant traffic, another call of the rooster. As the morning came alive, I sat in the darkness and waited to feel the same. My body matched my desolate mood, the stress caught up, I struggled to move. My pelvis was out of place, once easily corrected with a trip to the doctor or physical therapist, now progressively more painful as each day passed without insurance, no safety net to fix my brokenness. Afraid to make it worse, I allowed my body to stiffen, muscles to tighten, I hobbled back inside to refill my coffee. The rooster crowed again.
Stepping carefully, slowly around boisterous beasts, watching for any obstacles, my usual 3 minute journey took at least ten. Listening once more to the far off roar of a motorcycle, the call of a coyote, I tried to focus on breathing through the pain, wondered how to correct this misalignment, how things could have gone so terribly wrong. Blaming a God who knew I had no access to those who could help, anger simmering, I remembered I had lifted the huge jugs of water that created the problem in the first place. I knew better but was rushing. “Still, seriously, God, it was for dinner at church! I was being your servant and this is what I get?” Personal accountability was no match for self-pity, my pain was too great. That rooster crowed, that damn rooster again.
The days following my displacement had grown increasingly dark, ever more isolated. More time in bed, barely speaking, hardly eating. I wasn’t writing, all thoughts consumed with my pain. That rooter reminded me I had been there before, I needed to wake up. That insistent call demanded I rise, acknowledge what was really hurting and get moving. The bed was too tempting for me, I had already given up a year laying there. Finally I allowed myself to cry, to tell God that it hurts, so much it hurts, to be missing my daughter. This pelvis that moves out of place because I gave birth to her now begs for attention, reminding me that I am a mother without a child. “Why God, why can’t you heal this brokenness, NOW? Why must we be so out of alignment, grown rigid in positions that only bring more pain?” Shallow breaths, barely living, rather than exulting in the deep glory of shared triumphs? “When God, WHEN has it been long enough? ”
The release of tears brought hunger, a renewed energy. Walking carefully around the house, noticing my neglected life from just a few days of exile, I attempted a few chores, made a light meal. I felt looser physically, more connected emotionally. That night, God visited during my slumber. No longer able to hold myself stiff, away, careful, I jolted awake from the first deep sleep in days. The jolt caused me to jerk, to cry out in the night. The jerk popped my pelvis back where it is supposed to be. Finally relaxing a body held so tightly, pain nurtured like as it were my cherished child itself, I had let go into a deep sleep. God finally was able to wrestle control from me, to give me what I was seeking yet fighting Him for. I wanted to dance, filling my lungs with the air of hope, the victory of promises kept. I considered that rooster, calling me, wondering if I truly believe or just say that when times are good. I rose to seek out my morning call, to praise that faithful creature who rises before me with promises for a new day.
The rooster knew there will always be other noises to distract me, there will always be pain. I can’t count on a middle of the night jerk every time I mess up, I have to choose to stop doing things I know are wrong. I have to focus on what heals me, let go of things that destroy my health. I know that if God can take the time to deal with my stubbornness, my tendency to turn back to my bed, He is actively involved with my Stella as well. We each have our own roosters calling, asking us to believe, to rise up and choose a life of trust in Him. Today I listen to the rooster and praise God for His insistent pursuit of this willful child, sometimes turning a deaf ear to His calling. I know the rooster is asking me to rise even when it hurts. Hitting the snooze on the wake up call God has sent means I am at risk of over-sleeping, missing my life, missing the chance to see His light as the sun comes up. Another day, a new chance to give it up to Him and do my chores. I’m not fully healed, I’m still leery of a wrong move, but focusing on His voice, I send a glorious “Good morning” to the rooster, I dance in the darkness of my porch as I move to refill my coffee.