Advertisement

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

When Joe Cocker Speaks for God

Joe Cocker got my vote to win American Idol, 2010. He was not eligible and I didn’t watch the finale (or any other episode), but Cocker sang on the show and that fact alone got my attention this morning. I have a long history with Joe Cocker, going back to the angst of high school and more recently in a real life bitter failure in my walk with God that I lived through a few years back. I tell that Joe Cocker story in my book, Nine Ways God Always Speaks. Here’s the excerpt…

Advertisement

Mark rose early on Saturday morning and realized there was no milk in the house. With company that would soon wake and want breakfast, Mark knew a trip to the store was in order. He threw on sweats, shirt, and a baseball cap, and headed out.

The aisles were sparse and the workers were few as the night crew was finishing their shift before the day crew arrived. Mark grabbed a gallon of milk and a package of blueberry muffins. As he walked to the front of the store, he looked for open checkout lanes. There was only one. He got in line behind a man with a cart filled with boxes of donuts. The man noticed Mark’s glance. “Garage sale,” the man said, pointing to his load.

Advertisement

Mark looked up and his gaze landed on the checkout lady. Clearly, she had worked all night. Exhaustion and boredom draped over her like a heavy blanket. She appeared to be in her mid-fifties. Life had been difficult, that much was certain. Mark glanced at her nametag. “Macy,” it read.

He shifted on his feet thinking of nothing in particular. Then from somewhere deep inside a Voice interrupted his indifference. “Tell Macy that I think she is beautiful.”

Mark coughed out loud.

Advertisement

“Not a chance,” he argued to the inner Voice. “I’d get slapped. Or worse, I’d get slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit! I’m not telling a 50-year-old grocery clerk she’s beautiful.”

Garage Sale Guy packed his donuts into the cart and headed toward the door. Mark set his breakfast items on the conveyer belt. Macy avoided his eyes and maneuvered the milk and muffins through the bar-code reader and waited for his payment.

Mark fumbled for time as he continued arguing with the voice in his head. “I don’t even know her. I’m married, and I’m a pastor. What would it look like if I said something like that?”

Advertisement

“$5.49,” Macy said. Her voice sounded worn from cigarettes and screaming.

“Tell her I think she’s beautiful,” the Voice said again.

“I can’t.” Mark felt sad–a helpless regret that comes when you buckle to your fears.

The Voice fell silent.

All Mark could hear was the Muzak playing over the store’s speaker system–some tired hit from the seventies. He reached into his wallet.

Advertisement

Macy waited.

“All right,” the Voice broke in with a tinge of irritation. “Then I will.”

One song ended and immediately a new one began. It was Joe Cocker crooning, “You are so beautiful, to me.”

Mark handed Macy the money, stuffed the food in a bag, and slouched toward the door.

He missed his chance, and he knew it.

Advertisement

Speaking is a volitional act, and God gives us the privilege of participating in his work, but he doesn’t need us to speak for him when he wants to get his message across.

He can do it himself, thank you very much.

I’m listening… Hopefully, I’m listening and responding. God’s voice comes to us in so many different and sometimes strange ways. He can even speak through the oddly placed lyrics of a Joe Cocker song. For that he would have gotten my vote, eligible or not…  

 

  • babes montoya

    to be read later

Previous Posts

A Prayer to Release Your Anxiety to God
Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. (Psalm 55:22) Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7) Anxiety and stress bear down hard on our bodies causing all kinds of potential health ...

posted 7:26:12am Apr. 28, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer to Honor Our Parents
You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father…I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:2b,3) Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the ...

posted 11:48:01am Apr. 25, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer for the Prodigal
"Return to me," says the LORD of hosts, "and I will return to you." (Zechariah 1:3) Father, Thank you for loving the prodigals. Thank you for your willingness to allow them to make the first move towards relationship with you once ...

posted 9:37:34am Apr. 25, 2016 | read full post »

An Olive Tree Prayer
But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. (Psalm 52:8) What’s it like to be an olive tree? David compared himself to one. We don’t have olive trees in our region, so I had to ...

posted 11:08:10am Apr. 21, 2016 | read full post »

A Prayer for the Joy in Trials
  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is ...

posted 12:48:15pm Apr. 20, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.