Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Recognizing Randy
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


Jimmy said...

Thanks for a timely thought, Janice. I'm dealing with some decisions about jobs and options for ministry and want to be sure it is God's voice I am hearing and not just my own wants and wishes. You encouraged me to keep still and quiet my own head so that I can be very sure that I recognize Him.


MacroMoments said...

Janice, I enjoyed this post so much. It reminded me of an elderly couple who attended our church years ago. Mrs. Ledyard and I struck up a fast friendship, and I learned that her husband was a retired pastor. She phoned one morning to chat, and told me how excited she was to be starting her week off in a different direction. "I've decided it's high time to get to know the Lord better, so when I meet him, it'll be in mid-conversation. We can just take up where we left off."

That kind of intimacy with God is precious. Thanks for the reminder.