Tuesday, July 08, 2008

When You Least Expect It

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty" (1Corinthians 1:27).

A man stands before an large audience of people from various walks of life. Some are rich, most are poor. Some are powerful, most are weak. Some are daring, most are fearful. Some have faith, some have doubts, many have questions, all have need.

Are we about to hear a speech? Not exactly.

The man holds an old book in his hand.

Oh, so he is going to read a story? Not exactly.

A hush falls over the crowd as all eyes fix upon this solitary man. He is of medium stature, with handsome features. A middle aged fellow with yet a gleam of mischief in his sky blue eyes. The white hair about his temple frames in his leathery face with venerable distinction. There is something about this man that seems to command an audience.

Is he running for public office? No, not exactly.

Is he selling something? No, not exactly.

What, then?

Let’s listen and find out.

Turning to a page in the book, the man readies himself for the task at hand. He looks over the crowd, sizing them up with the skill that comes from years of experience. Then he begins by reading aloud an excerpt from the old book.

He is not four words along until the crowd stirs into a polite riot ~ moaning, grumbling, and fidgeting with distress. The noise level rises quickly, for what they hear is so disturbing they cannot bear for the man to continue.

His voice.

His voice, if one can call it a voice, sounded not at all like that of a man. Nor even a woman, or a child. Neither did it sound like a angel, or a devil.

It sounded like a mouse. A mouse with a soar throat. A mouse that inhaled helium and tried to impersonate Alvin the Chipmunk. You know the sound that a balloon makes when you squeeze the opening tightly and slowly let the air out? You know the sound fingernails make when you slowly scrap them across a blackboard? You know the sound a mosquito make when it lands in your ear, gets stuck in the wax, and then tries furiously to free itself by buzzing about inside your head?

That’s how the guy sounded. Only worse.

It was quite an odd thing to see a man so poised in appearance, so commanding in persona, and yet so squeezed in speech. Looking upon this man one expected to hear James Earl Jones. What one got was Pee Wee Herman!

The poor fellow at the podium seemed oblivious to the effects he was having upon the tormented audience. The stalwart soul kept steadily at his speech, waving his hands about his head as though conducting an orchestra, and pointing skyward as if to suggest that heaven was attending these proceedings.

“This guy is nuts,” someone said from the back of the room. “Yeah,” replied another, “a total ding bat.” A murmur rose throughout the crowd, yet the man kept squeaking. The more he talked, the more excited he became. And the more excited he became, the higher his voice went. And the higher his voice went, the more agitated the crowd became.

Then a strange thing happened. The crowd of people, mentally dismantled and fully inclined toward all available exits, were stopped in their tracks. Oddly enough it wasn’t because of the man speaking; it was in spite of him.

A presence filled the room. Palpable, discernable, conspicuous. It was other-worldly, the kind of presence that makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck. But it was more than a ghost, much more. It was a holy Ghost. Everyone felt it, and no one dared do anything that might offend.

For reasons known only in heaven, GOD decided to show up that day. And in so doing proved yet once again that He uses the foolish to confound the wise.


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