Wrong Number

th“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” (Colossians 3:12, 13)

Swing shift. Here is how mine went – seven evenings, two days off, six daylights, two days off, seven graveyards, and four days off and back to evenings. One weekend off a month. Most medical reports claim swing shift shortens life spans about five to seven years. Most people react when told of such a schedule with an, “Oh, that would be awful!” Trust me, it was more brutal than you can imagine.

Sprawled on the bed, mid-day, sleep too deep to dream, and somehow the phone ringing jolted me awake. I could not move, only groan. I heard the answering machine kick on. A voice is speaking; it could be significant, and I stumbled into the kitchen. An unsteady punch on the play button and, “I have the wrong number, I apologize.” Bleary-eyes stared at the machine. My fuzzy mind processed what I heard. Growl, whirl, stomp, collapse, moan, sprawl, toss, and turn.

But then I had a small conversation with me. I thought about how many times I have dialed the wrong number and disturbed someone. Numerous times. And this woman was thoughtful enough to express her regret. We all dial wrong numbers. In fact, we all do much worse things to one another and ultimately to God. How easy it is to forget that in the everyday course of life. Well, I did forgive my caller and slept like a man with a five to seven years-shortened-life span. I’m due to meet my Maker sooner than most.

I just wanted to share this with you today and remind you that we all dial wrong numbers.

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