Is there anything more frightening than having the phone ring in the middle of the night? To have a telephone shrilling in the midst of a deep sleep in the early hours of the morning is a guarantee of an adrenaline rush of fear shooting through a person's body, an instant shock of alertness as the mind kicks into high gear, wondering who has died or is in some kind of trouble. Is it a family member, a parishioner??
Stumbling to the telephone the nerves are jumping and the mind is struggling to sort itself out, to wake up completely in order to comprehend fully the bad news that must be awaiting from the other end of the telephone line.
When the call display shows that it is the RCMP calling, as my call display showed at 1am today, a sense of horror begins to overtake every nerve ending, every thought.
I was in such a deep sleep that I actually didn't get to the phone in time to answer the call, but when I saw who had called it took but a split second for me to call the number back, shaking like a leaf, assuming either our son was in trouble or some horrendous accident had befallen a parishioner.
The RCMP officer who answered the phone had such a gruff voice I was immediately terrified to ask him what had happened, but I managed to squeak out who I was and ask what was wrong. I was shaking so hard I could hardly hang onto the phone.
Well, the RCMP officer had no bad news for me. He is located in another town and had accidentally dialed an incorrect number, thinking he was sending a fax to the RCMP in our town. He stopped being gruff as soon as he realized what had happened, apologized profusely for waking me up, we had a good laugh together about his mistake and I went back to bed. Of course I couldn't go back to sleep for over 2 hours, but at least nothing was wrong. No dire event had occurred among our family members or church congregation.
Whew!!! I lay back in bed, weak from the stress and understanding much better, as I tried to calm my pounding heart, why heart attacks can happen so often first thing in the morning as the stress of a day intrudes upon a deep sleep. Fortunately I am reading an interesting book right now and was able to read myself back to sleep, but it took a long time. I kept distracting myself from my book by thinking how grateful I was that nothing was wrong and hoping that is true today for all our family, congregations and friends.