I don’t raise chickens but two of my neighbors do. This means it’s not unusual in the summer, when the windows are open, to hear roosters crowing first thing in the morning. Such noise might bother some people but I like it.

The crowing of a rooster has positive connotations in western culture. It’s synonymous with being on a box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, the beginning of the day, a new start.

But the most well-known rooster crowing is associated more with an end than a beginning; the end of Jesus’ life on what has come to be known as Good Friday. When Jesus predicted Peter would deny him we read, “But he denied it, saying, ‘I neither know nor understand what you mean.’ And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed.” – Mark 14:68.

In a one paragraph letter on June 1963 to Mary Willis Shelburne, C. S. Lewis offers some advice on how best to deal with poor health that leads to “inertia.” These reflections lead him to ponder what it would be like to arrive in heaven. He compares this life to the feeling one has those minutes between sleeping and getting out of bed. Those moments when you hear the rooster. He writes,

“Think of yourself just as a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half-waking. “

He closes with this observation,

“We are here in the land of dreams. But cock-crow is coming. It is nearer than when I began this letter.”1

Next time you hear a rooster, remember . . .

“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice.” – John 5:28.

  1. Walter Hooper, ed., The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963, Vol. III [New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007], 1434.
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Thank you for visiting. This blog is the result of a lifetime of reading C. S. Lewis and a desire to sit down opposite him over a cup of tea seeking his advice. His responses are based on his letters and books.

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