Like our theme, for instance! “God sings!” My first reaction is: WHAT? Never heard THAT before; they didn’t teach Zephaniah 3:17 at MY seminary.
My second thought, however, is that there is always a verse popping up that I never noticed before, that I never experienced the truth of, that never sunk in. Suddenly it hits me smack-on like a V8 juice and forever changes my life. It’s happened over and over again.
Then, I began wondering what God would sound like if He had an earthly voice. I went straight to Buddy Greene. He is a deep thinker and philosophizer, but not so deep I can’t talk to him. Or so I thought!
Right off, Buddy used a word I didn’t know. Did he swallow a dictionary since I saw him last? The word is “anthropomorphizing,” which I Googled later, and found to mean — to attribute human form or personality to things not human.
Acknowledging the blank look on my face, Buddy moved on, mentioning some well-known, modern-day people whose voices have been compared to God. Then he pointed out ... they all smoke! Well, so much for that!
“Wasn’t it in the quiet that Elisha … or was it Elijah, I forget … heard God’s voice?” Buddy asks, pensively. (If Buddy doesn’t know, I certainly don’t know; that was another thing they didn’t teach in my seminary.)
“I think that IS how he speaks … quietly …” Buddy says, his Buddy Greene grin spreading across his face, “... so perhaps that is how he sings over us, too. Quietly.”
An-thro-po-morph-iz-ing! Try saying that 10 times in a row!
In the last issue I showed you a picture of Lillie Knauls, (Click here), taken at the Women of Homecoming taping, wearing her smashing green coat and her million-dollar smile. I have one other Lillie thing! A thoughtful thing she does that touches my heart and never fails to lift my spirit! For as long as I can remember, she has been sending me $2 bills. Once a year, twice a year … out of the blue … LAST WEEK! And it makes me smile all over my face ... and decorates my dresser!
Woody Wright is someone who will cheer you up like none other.
I’ve shown up at his house unexpected, and uninvited, and he and Vonnie have treated me like the Queen of Sheba. Without the cloven foot! (See, I DID go to seminary!)
“What’s going on these days?” I asked, just last week.
“Well … we had this concert trip all planned to Norway, Sweden and Netherlands … booked months ahead … and I got what Willie Wynn calls the Galloping Gonkus … coughing, chugging, blowing … I mean, sinus distress you wouldn’t believe that turned into bronchitis … walking pneumonia … couldn’t speak or sing … or breathe (blah, blah, blah). I was CANCELGIVE- THE-MONEY-BACK SICK.
“And Sue, I hate to tell you …” (then please don’t, Woody! Please don’t!) “… the day before we were going to leave, I was being a good boy by putting my underwear and socks in the clothes hamper …”
“I barely bent over … and my back went out … crippled for over two weeks … couldn’t walk … couldn’t sit … then Global Warming kicked in in Indiana. Record lows … temperatures of nearly 20 below.”
I finally got a word in edgewise to ask why he moved to Indiana in the first place. Seems like a lot of bad luck! (I’m not stupid; I already know he moved there because of the lovely Vonnie, but I had to ask!)
“My career was so hot, I had to move to a cooler climate!”
“Yeah, sure!” He does crack me up! Every time! Just spare me the details!
When I asked Woody about God’s voice, what it might sound like, he said it would be cool if the voice of God sounded like him so he could play pranks on people: “Helloooooo, Bill Gaither … Do you know whooooo this is?”
Please don’t write me letters to tell me I’m sacrilegious. It was God who gave some of us these quirky ways of thinking. Please, oh please, don’t tsk, tsk us!
Back to Buddy Greene.
(Let’s face it — I’m his stalker!)
I witnessed the funniest thing not long ago at a star-studded fund raiser for our amazing Nashville Union Mission hosted by Restless Heart. Buddy was one of the star-studded stars along with Peter Noone, whom you will remember as Herman of Herman’s Hermits. Think back … “I’m Henry the VIII, I am,” “There’s a Kind of Hush All Over the World.”
At the VIP party afterward, Buddy swept me aside like a worn-out harmonica … he barely said hello. He headed straight to Peter to renew 50-year-old memories, recalling when the Hermits, part of a Dick Clark Cavalcade, played Macon, Georgia.
(I eavesdropped, as usual, and was able to piece together the story.)
“Local group shares stage with Herman and the Hermits!” read the headlines, and you guessed it … “local group” was 11-year-old Buddy and his group, “Buddy’s Buddies.”
“I was star-struck! Peter represented everything I wanted!” Buddy told me later when I finally got his attention. Then he thought a moment and turned loose his famous chuckle. “Now, I really DO have everything I ever wanted!”
Joy MacKenzie has been my best friend for over 40 years. She dearly loved my kids, and there were a few years when they loved her more than they loved me. I would not have had a first book had it not been for her. She never put a mark on my manuscript, never took away my “voice,” but instead, talked me through page after page of muddle, making it fun along the way. We, along with Peggy, Gloria and Lois, travelled, sailed, sat by the pool, worked, shopped, and encouraged and synthesized each other’s ideas. We cried a lot over life’s disappointments. A lot! She’s moving and I’m crying. As I write, tears run down my face!
It’s a good move, and timely. Joy spent much of her life writing and publishing educational books, and teaching and nudging teenagers to possibilities they could never have dreamed otherwise. Soon, she will be living in the sunshine of Palm Springs near her darling and lovable granddaughter, Spenser. I’m very selfish! I’ll miss her! We all will. Hopefully we can lure her back for a magazine meeting now and then, or even better, we’ll put on our big ol’ sun hats and meet in her neighborhood! How could she resist?