Friday, September 7, 2012
Years and years ago, when my two brothers and I were mere youngsters, we shared the amenities of the hall bathroom of our family's modest 3-bedroom ranch home. On nights before a school day or a Sunday morning church service, my brothers and I negotiated our turns with baths and tooth brushing. “You go first! No, I went first last night. You go first!” Eventually someone acquiesced, and the nightly routine began. Our standing rule was that the first bather had to let the other one know when they were done with the bathroom. “I’m out!” was our usual signal.
So one Saturday night, on an evening my brother Tommy took his bath first, I decided to watch some television until the bathroom was free. The Rev. Billy Graham was on the air, and he was preaching about Jesus’ encounter with the demon-possessed man. He skillfully set the dramatic scene, as only a good preacher can do, and I was hanging onto every word. “The demons who had been tormenting this man cried out, ‘What have we to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?’ Rev. Graham paused for effect and then swung his hand for emphasis in a motion not unlike one of those Atlanta Braves tomahawk chops. “Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man. ‘Come out of him!’” A split-second later, I heard the bathroom door swing open and my brother loudly announcing, “I’M OUT!” I’m not making this up. I only wish someone had been there with me to appreciate the moment!
On another evening, much more recently, I discussed some song possibilities during a rehearsal with my worship team for the service we lead at our church. “I’ve been considering this classic gospel song, ‘Fill My Cup, Lord.' I think a lot of our people would enjoy singing it.” Our piano player promptly began to giggle and nearly slid off the bench laughing. “Oh, no! I don’t think I can do that one!” He then went on to tell us the following true story.
Friends of his were attending a church prayer service - I’ll just say it was somewhere in America - when the pastor began to exhort his parishioners to pray in faith. “You have not, because you ask not!” he declared. At that prompting, one of the ladies present began to fervently ask the Lord for, ah, how shall I put this... well, for a larger bosom. The pastor was rendered speechless by this unexpected development, but he regained enough composure to ask the worship team to play a song. Quickly. The song they chose was “Fill My Cup, Lord.” I swear I’m not making this up!
Needless to say, we have yet to sing “Fill My Cup, Lord” at the nine o’clock service at my church. The entire worship team would probably all crack up within the first three notes if we tried to do it any time soon. Quite honestly, if I even think about that story now, I start laughing. I’m not making that up, either!