by Janice Price
“Do you know who this is?” Lamar asks his wife Iris as she approaches him and a stranger standing in a hallway of the funeral home. “This is Randy.”
I overhear this and look around the room for the familiar face but don’t see him. Then the corners of the stranger’s mouth begin to curl upward and his face breaks into a grin. I walk across the room, peering intently at his features.
He spreads his arms wide and laughs. “I clean up nicely, don’t I?”
I still don’t recognize the man.
He cups a hand across his forehead below the hairline to simulate wearing a hat. Now I can see that this stranger is actually Randy.
Dell comes down the hallway, laughing. “I had no idea of who he was without his hat either.”
I’m embarrassed. “Randy, I was so sure I would know you anywhere.”
Randy is our mailman. We all see him frequently, walking or driving his route and delivering our mail, or shopping in the grocery store after work. He is friendly, helpful and conscientious. We all like him and we all thought we knew him, but none of us could recognize him out of uniform, wearing everyday clothes and without his trademark hat.
There is no guarantee any of us will recognize Randy the next time we see him without his hat, but he is good-natured and we all have a laugh.
This incident starts me wondering about whether we know God well enough to recognize him when he speaks to us. Job thought he knew God, but when God spoke to him, he learned otherwise. He then said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (Job 42:5)
To know God well, we need to spend more quality time with him. Life has become so hectic and noisy, we need to occasionally turn off the television, radio, cell phone, or whatever might distract us from hearing his voice. Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10) Be still, because God won’t yell above the din.
We often think we know God well enough to recognize his voice. Yet so often we fail to listen, or to act upon his leading, or to distinguish his voice from our own desires or temptations.
Jesus said that he and the Father are one, and that he knows his sheep, his sheep know him, and they listen to his voice. (John 10:30,14,16)
As far as I know, God doesn’t wear a hat, but if we know Jesus, we know the Father and can recognize his voice.
© 2005 Janice Price