Does God Answer?

monty-python-hand-of-god

God rarely tells me what he’s doing. But he’s always more than willing to show me what he wants me to do.

Some years back I landed an invitation-only position in a CBS workshop for up-and-coming comedy writers. Was I excited? Um, yeah, like diarrhea excited.

I lived an hour away, so I did my morning God-talk on the freeway en route. One morning several weeks in, I asked God what He wanted me to do.

Big mistake.

Almost instantly I sensed that he wanted me to tell my new R-rated friends about Him. Being a mighty man of faith, I replied, “Um…what else you got, Lord?” Silence. (He does that a lot.) “Ohhh-kaaaay,” I exhaled, “but if you want me to talk to a room full of worldly, anti-religious people, You’re going to have to make it happen, because I have no clue where to start.”

By the time I got to CBS I’d forgotten about that conversation. Then, about an hour in, the workshop leader Joel said, “Your own life is the best place to look for ideas, so…” He scanned the room. “Mitch, get up and talk about what’s been going on in your life.”

I jogged to the stage, rifling my memory as my sneakers hit the platform.

“First thing that pops into your head,” Joel shouted. “Go!”

Man in his underwear on stage“Uhhh…” I began. “Well, my eight-year-old daughter Mandy has been in this tug-of-war between her nerd friends and the mean-but-cool girls who say they’ll let her be one of them if she rejects the nerds. She wants so bad to be cool, but she has this pure heart, and she doesn’t really want to be that kind of person. And I don’t want her to be like that, either.”

I started to snuffle.

“Good!” Joel yelled. “If it matters to you, it’ll matter to the audience! So, what do you want her to be like?”

My eyes began to leak. And then the words escaped from my mouth, and there was no way to vacuum them back in:

“I want her to be like Jesus.”

This is the moment I get asked to leave, I thought.

To my astonishment, Joel, the secular Jew from Brooklyn, said between sobs, “Beautiful, Mitch, just beautiful!” Then he croaked to the rest of the room, “See? From the heart, people—that’s where real stories come from!”

When we broke for coffee I was surrounded by wet-eyed comedy writers. Several timidly tight-lipped Jesus followers thanked me for having the courage to boldly share my faith (boldly, hah!). An angry agnostic punched me in the arm and said, “Damn. You made me cry, bro.” And then he hugged me.

Thumbs-up-from-God-e1390244729298And God whispered, “Hey, you asked.”

No, God doesn’t often tell me what he’s doing, but he’s always ready to tell me what he wants me to do. And I’m guessing he’ll do the same for you.

So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Does God Answer?

  1. Oh man. You hit me right between the eyes with this one. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. smzang says:

    a great start to the day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE this story! Isn’t it the truth, that so often the enemy convinces us not to speak up because no one is going to accept what we’re saying, and if we speak up anyway we find that’s not the case at all. Personally I think a lot of comedians use humor to cover up their tender emotions, and you ripped the Band Aid right off. Bravo!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. atimetoshare.me says:

    What an amazing story, Mitch. We have so many opportunities in our lives to tell others about our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Now especially with so much anxiety and sadness. I need a push sometimes, because of fears that others might think I’m just a religious fanatic, but God knows better and he will use me through my writing. There are so many times that I’ve looked back at something I’ve written and can see his hand in the work. So who are we to stand in his way? Thanks for your inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. sniderjerry says:

    Have you ever read ‘Angel Unaware’ by Dale Evans?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. joyroses13 says:

    Totally love this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ledrakenoir says:

    Maybe it is more those “honorable souls” who want to tell their interpretation of what to do than it is the black woman called God who do it.? 😀 😀 😀

    Like

  8. So true, so true! And so encouraging to hear “success stories” that remind me to DO what HE says!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. robstroud says:

    Now, a phony version of this event would continue… “and they all lived happily ever after.”
    But, in reality, we know that when God calls us to follow him, he doesn’t promise it will work out to our (temporal) wellbeing. Instead, we receive what really matters–the peace and joy only our Lord can give us.

    It certainly is good to hear an encouraging story like this one, Mitch. Most of the time we don’t get to see the actual result of our faithful following. In this situation God knew two very important things: (1) that he had prepared the hearts of the participants to truly hear what you were saying, including those timid brothers and sisters who deeply needed your encouraging witness, and (2) that he had the right prophet for the job… one who was willing to step out, even though he was totally aware he could not do it in his own strength.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      I sound a lot more noble in your summary than I was, Rob, ;>) but thanks. And, yes, I suspect you’re quite right about God orchestrating the event. Long-range effect in others’ lives? Only God knows, but it was a galvanizing moment for me.

      Like

  10. I just shared that this past Sunday, that a parent’s goal is to want their children to be
    like Jesus

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pamela says:

    This is such a sweet story!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Glenn Riffey says:

    Been there, Mitch, and come to like those moments. Glad to here you experience… 😺

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kathleen Ellerman says:

    No matter what, your writing always tugs at my ❤ So good.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ray V. says:

    Great story. It seems difficult these days to talk of such things. Even being cradle a Catholic who spent 17 of 18/years of school in Catholic institutions, I will admit that I used to dismiss people who said God talked to them, but not anymore as it has happened to me on two occasions. The second time is in the link below, which includes a link to the first story. https://mitigatingchaos.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/ok-god-there-you-go-again/

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Salem Andero says:

    😩😩
    This is emotional.
    I wonder how fellows discern that voice of God without stress.
    The boldness to speak out wherever I am in public seems not to be there.
    I do it most times on group pages where I know no one’s seeing me and my shyness is limited.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      I understand, Salem. Group pages are a good place to share your faith. I think the best in-person opportunities come when you’re talking with someone and naturally say something like “so I prayed about it” or “I felt God was leading me to…” If the other person shows interest, they’re inviting you to say more about your faith.

      Like

      • Salem Andero says:

        Hm!
        This is a great advice Sire.
        God will help me to make use of any opportunity He brings my way.
        Is it in Direct Messages personally or physical contact and communication.?

        Liked by 1 person

      • mitchteemley says:

        I think you’re asking if I’m referring to writing notes or speaking to someone face-to-face. I mean both. If God is important to you, then it will probably come naturally to you to mention Him just as you would your job or hobbies..

        Like

  16. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, Mitch. You’ve given me hope! Every now and then God puts me in the middle of someone else’s life-path to answer a question or share my story (very boring compared to many–I asked Jesus into my life at age four). Sometimes I’ve felt tongue-tied and unclever and wonder “Why me, God? I’m just messing this up!” All I can do is trust His Spirit to make use of my bumblings! At least there’s no pride involved on those occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Piano girl says:

    Thanks for the warning! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved this story!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cindy Aten says:

    I love this Mitch! How exciting it is to be used by God to reach right in and touch their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love this story! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Comfort says:

    Thank you so much for this *wiping tears from my eyes*. And thanks for the warning😀

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Eliza says:

    This made me cry, too…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. gregoryjoel says:

    Thanks for today’s post Mitch. I was once told there are only 5 answers to prayer. 1. Yes 2. No. 3. Maybe 4. Wait. 5. Are you crazy? I’m getting better at avoiding number 5…
    Seriously, the old spiritual, “You Gotta Move” says it so well – “When the Lord says ready now, you gotta move”. Sometimes He says stay. You just have to stay.
    Here’s what I mean – The farm I manage is a non-profit benefitting low income and oft forgotten neighborhoods. The last year saw very little finances to pay me a salary. I devoted full-time to this ministry because God told me it was time to make this happen. In October, the mortgage was due, the electricity was due, and the bank account for both my wife and I, as well as our non-profit was zero. I told my wife I would have to quit. I had to take care of my family. Logical, yes?
    My wife said she had prayed about it and said I needed to wait one more month before making a move. God wanted me there…
    To make a long story short – the very next day a donation came in that covered (almost to the penny) my bills. The bills have always been paid, the farm is growing, both in land size and finances, and more volunteers have shown up. I’ve learned why Jesus used agricultural parables so much – I get to do the same…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. themeonnblog says:

    Now my eyes are full…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dang…my eyes are leaking. Happens when my heart is touched as it is right now! Great encouragement, Mitch! Aren’t ya just so thankful God is so creative to get His Word out…even when we are shaking in our sneakers? Love this story more than words can say!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Papa Hannah says:

    This was absolutely beautiful! Hey, God works in those ways. Thanks for the warning! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. K.L. Hale says:

    I’m going to join the others in the crying room on this one. You encourage me to stay bold~and be bolder (yet real and humble). 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Oh, this is medicine to me!! Thank you for living this and sharing it with us!! Wow!! Thank you. So much necessary stuff in this.

    Peach

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Your posts keep making me cry.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Oh I love this Mitch, this came from the heart, but more importantly it came from God. He made you speak from the heart, something that really resonates with others your own daughter who you would like her to be just like Jesus. I have three daughters and I would very much like the same. Sometimes we just need to have the Faith and not be afraid of who we tell about him 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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