The Wrong Number

Before the cell phone, telephones were tied down to buildings. If you called someone, you were either calling them at home or at a place of business. So, even if you accidentally dialed a wrong number, you could be certain the unknown person you spoke to was in a house or an office of some type. These days, when you call someone, you have no idea where they might be.

Earlier today, I climbed into one of my bird exhibits to clean it. It is the kind that resembles a large version of those shoe box dioramas many kids make in school. It has concrete “tree branches” simulating the tops of trees in the jungle with lots of real plants and vines providing natural softness and colour. Glass between the visitors and the birds makes it look like it is some sort of window into another world. It is also an absolute pain to clean. You have to crawl through a 2 foot square hatch in the back and balance on the rounded concrete branches while dragging a hose and scrub brush with you. When I was halfway through the hatch, my cell phone started to ring. A lot of us use our phones for work purposes, so I got myself untangled from the water hose and pulled out my phone. I didn’t recognize the number and there were visitors watching me so I just hit the silence button and put my phone back in my pocket. A couple minutes later, the phone rang again. I figured this may be something work related and important after all, so I answered it. A young man’s voice asked, “Ms. Wayford?” I politely told him he must have dialed the wrong number and he apologized before hanging up.

As I put my phone in my pocket one more time and picked up my hose and scrub brush, I thought about that young man who was probably expecting to talk to his teacher or his friend’s mom. He could probably take a hundred guesses at where the random person he ended up talking to was and never get it right.

This made me think about God and the chances I have to call Him. Like calling from a cell phone, I can be anywhere and call God, but I don’t have to wonder “Is He busy in India listening to the missionary feeding the poor?” or “Does He get reception up in the Yukon?”  I don’t even have to wait for Him to answer the ringing phone. I just start talking, or even thinking, and He hears me. And He won’t be surprised by where I am at all… because He’s right there, too.

Isaiah 58:9a “At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer; when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.'”


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