I’m not quite sure how to get out of bed today. How to get started when my body, mind and soul are still so weary. It doesn’t help that my dog is laying across my feet. He’s a champion sleeper. And he didn’t even stay up late watching CSPAN last night! He didn’t listen to the speeches about gun violence and hate. He didn’t see the images from this massacre and that one, too. He didn’t ask himself why are there so many faces, so many lost? He doesn’t know the victims text messages, snap chats or stories. He didn’t hear the re-telling of Matthew Shepard’s brutal attack. He didn’t see the chats of statistics about gun violence and hate crimes. He didn’t hear the poem of the survivor who feels guilty to survive. He didn’t even take time to look up how much money his own senator took from the NRA.
This dog has no business staying asleep. And yet he has the audacity to linger, to avoid starting all over again. And my heavy legs and heart are tempted to join him.
Because I did watch last night. And I heard and learned all that yesterday. All over again.
Plus, I already had my own stuff, too, right? The violence and corruption in my own city. The illness and tragedy in my own congregation. All of the cancer. The hurts caused and felt by our own community. The doctor appointments and piles of unpaid bills. The hard conversations waiting for me at the office or at that visit I keep not making. The worries and fears mounted on my shoulders. All of the where’s and how’s and why’s. And this precious, still-sleeping dog doesn’t carry worries or hurts or statistics or anything, really, on his little dog shoulders. So maybe I should just stay here, lay here, with the dog-with-no-worries who didn’t see or hear or know any of that and just be heavy and still.

Oh, and then there’s you. Again. Always. Making all that fuss. Sometimes I am convinced you’re the worst alarm clock ever. Blaring so loudly, right in my ear. (I have downstairs neighbors, you know.) You call through the heaviness. Again. And I stretch my legs, that sweet dog shifts, and I’m reminded that there is a bit of strength in them still. So, for you, today, I’ll get up. (Mostly to stop the blaring.) I’ll nudge this furry dear one and take him for a strut around our block. I will dress myself in whatever you lay out for me. And we will get to work. With this list and that, those images still locked in my mind, still carrying all that stuff in my heart and every muscle. And here’s the one thing I ask, as we start another day together-
In all there is to say and do, all there is to hear, learn and observe, all there is to process, endure and conquer, in all there is for me to be today, O Lord, since I’m up… help me BE BOLD in witnessing to you.

Rev. Erin Counihan serves as pastor of Oak Hill Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in St. Louis, MO. When she’s not lounging with her sleepy dog, Erin blogs a little at https://somewhatreverend.wordpress.com/.

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