I’ve been listening to a Brit lately.
No, not of the Spears variety.
He’s a he. Not a she. And not a Spears.
I don’t know how I’d never heard of him before, but I just wasn’t that cool, I guess.
Some friends from church invited us over for dinner and we sat around talking about this guy from across the pond named Graham Cooke.
And how he has this amazingly close relationship with God.
I was intrigued so I bought some of his stuff from iTunes and listened to him.
I swear to you, he changed my life.
Or maybe just my perspective.
You see, the thing is – I love God.
He is everything amazing and good.
And I talk to him daily.
Because God and I are tight like that.
But then this guy Graham Cooke comes along and when he talks about God he makes me want to know the God he knows.
When Graham talks, you feel the presence of God and you just know that God is good and kind and loving.
He talks about Jesus and he does it sounding very British and it makes me wish I was British, because maybe that has something to do with the close relationship Graham has with Jesus.
Maybe, I should start praying with a British accent.
I’ll say things like “that’s brilliant” and “‘ello Lord, ‘ets me.”
Problem is, I can do a British accent for all of 15 minutes before I crack myself up. So I guess it’s good that God loves half-Asians too.
I’m not talent-less in the accent department though, I can do a pretty awesome impression of a Chinese take-out joint. Check it out:
“You wanna Pesi wit dat?”
“How about some flied lice?”
If you’re trying not to laugh because that was so inappropriate, it’s okay. You can laugh. I’m Asian and I used to work in a Chinese restaurant. I give you permission.
But whether I’m pretending to be British or just being my half-Asian self, I find myself wanting to know the God of Graham Cooke.
Uh, Joyce, isn’t Graham Cooke’s God and your God the same one?
Well yeah, technically – but the depth of relationship he shares from makes me want to know Jesus like he knows Jesus.
He talks about conversations they’ve had, cool adventures they’ve gone on, miracles they’ve seen and done.
And I want that.
And I want other people to feel that same way when they hear me talk about God.
To experience the closeness of who he is.
To know that God is not the bully that church history has made him out to be.
That God is passionate and cares about what we go through.
I want people to see how I live my life. . . and read the words I type. . . and hear the words I say. . . and be jealous for that kind of relationship with God.
Jealous to the point of asking the God of Joyce Ackermann to be their God too.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
John 3:16-18 (The Message)
I have to read that twice, because the first time it brings up memories of angry pastors talking about the destruction of the world and trying to scare people into loving Jesus.
But the second time I read those verses, I realize that the God of Graham Cooke is also the God of Jesus. The one that loved us enough to save us from the downward spiral of this life.
He came to save us from our broken hearts, our hate, our depression, our pain and a life without belief.
And that makes me want to know the God of Jesus.
The God that is a Father to those who trust in him.
And I think that this is what Jesus had in mind when he sent his disciples out.
He wants humanity to look at us and say with jealousy, I want to know their God.