Wake Up: A journal entry after a chat with Jesus

Is anyone else hearing this…?

Anyone at all?

That’s All I could think last night as I lied in bed, wide awake, heart racing, for a really really long time.

Is it seriously possible that only I am hearing this?

It certainly seemed I was.

Last night You woke me up. With a parable of sorts. But mostly you just woke me up. Physically--yes--but mostly in the spiritual sense of the word.

You were speaking. Loudly and clearly. The loudest and clearest I’ve heard you speak in a long time. The fastest my heart has raced in even longer.

Last night, after a fun day of Seattle exploring, I went to work trying to catch up on a day out of the office. Around 1:30AM, I decided to call it quits and get some sleep. As I was closing up my little space, I heard the sound of groaning. The word ‘ow’ mixed in. Someone obviously in pain. I tried to hear where it was coming from. My neighbor with whom I share a window wall, is always a little dramatic and noisy so I assumed it was her.

It continued. Deep and loud and long and agonizing.

I stood at the window frozen. What should I do? Should I help? How could I help--did anyone else hear this?

So, I closed the windows and pulled the blinds and turned the fan on high and tried to drown out the sound with a pillow over my head. I tried really hard to get comfortable and go to sleep.

Finally, I did.

I did get comfortable, I somehow drowned out the agonizing painful cries and I put myself to sleep.

Until about 3:30AM

When the crying was so loud and so often that it woke me.

But this time my heart was racing. Fast. And beating so hard. My eyes were open. I was wide awake.

And praying in the Spirit.

I knew instantly--even in my grogginess--that this was spiritual.

And that’s when You started speaking. Fast and loud and clear.

“Rachel, wake up! Don’t you hear that!? That long, loud, agonizing cry of pain and despair--of helplessness and of brokenness and emptiness. A cry longing for rescue--longing to be heard and responded to. Don’t you hear it? Why are you shutting it out? Why are you working so hard to drown it out?

What are you going to do about it?
This is why you’re here--what you came here for.
This is the heart cry of my people here:
Desperation, darkness, agony, brokenness, so much pain.
Get up! Wake up! Stay awake!
This is what we’re here for. To hear their cries and respond. To rescue.
Stop working so hard to get comfortable and put yourself to sleep.
Don’t you hear them!?”

Of course I heard.
So loudly. Heart thumping loudly.
But I didn’t know what to do. Who to call. How to respond.
And since I wasn’t sure what to do, I did nothing at all.

More than nothing. I closed myself up. Stayed quiet. Kept in my space. Made myself comfortable. Closed my eyes as tightly as I could and went to sleep. I hoped it would just go away or mostly that someone else would hear and that they would do something about it.

I couldn’t understand why she didn’t call for help if she was that desperate. In all of the cries I never once heard the word help.

(But that’s the thing here, isn’t it? People are walking around, their souls crying out in agony, and they never ask for help. In fact, I’m not even sure they know how desperate they are. I wonder if she was even awake to her own crying and pain. If she knew that anyone heard or wanted to respond--that I would have helped if she had asked. This is the world that we live in. The spiritual atmosphere of our generation. Souls aching and crying out of deep darkness and despair in agony--the bodies they dwell in unaware of their state or fate. And that’s what we’re here for. To hear and to see past human face and into soul cries. To offer help that people don’t even know they need. To hear their souls screaming even before they can.)

The crying persisted. It got longer and louder and stronger. So gut wrenching and painful to listen to. So, I prayed. And prayed. And asked Jesus to show me what to do.

It became clear, that whether or not anyone else heard, no one else was coming. That maybe only I was ever supposed to hear them. Maybe we are called so specifically and individually. More so than I ever knew or realized.

This was on me. Those cries--that pain and desperation and despair--all on me. Because I do know what to do and how to respond and rescue...I do.

Oh how it broke my heart to reflect on my response.
In the center of this space that I’m called to…
I hid.

I did everything I could to quiet the cries and to drown them out---to move away from them. Because they made me uncomfortable. Because they were hard to hear. Because I just wanted to go to sleep. I hid and I let the cries continue. I waited for someone else to act.

I could have called. I was closest. Obviously I heard, I was near.

And all I wanted was for someone else to hear too--or maybe instead--and make it stop. To do what I should have been doing, the hard and uncomfortable thing because i just wanted to go back to sleep.

I’m not here to get comfortable in my little corner and go back to sleep. I’m not here to hide; to turn up the noise and cover up the cries. That’s not what I came for--not what You’ve called me to--not who you’ve created me to be.

So, wake me up, Jesus. I want to be wide awake. Even in the darkest dark of the night. Even when it’s uncomfortable and the call painful and agonizing and scary. Even when I’m unsure and though I’m unprepared and under-qualified.

Make me a responder--a rescuer--a soul who runs towards the cries of agony and not away from them. Who brings you into these moments. Someone who doesn't wait and hope for someone else to hear and to act.

I’m still not sure if anyone else was awake. If anyone else heard any part of it. If any of it even happened at all. But that doesn’t really matter. Because I heard. Loud and clear. The cries of this city. The cry of a people broken-hurting-lonely-in need of rescuing.

And more than that, I heard the cry and felt the beat of Your heart. To respond to them. I heard you ask me to wake up. Get uncomfortable and stop waiting for someone else to deal with it. To be someone who rescues with the light that I carry.

So, I’m awake. Tired, scared, unsure of how to move forward, but awake.


  1. Wow. Thank you for your transparency. I admire your love and obedience to jesus- always.

  2. Hey Rachel, i was relistening to your Senior chapel sermon today. Really needed to hear it again. Thanks for the cupcakes and reminding us to always choose joy!


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