Saturday, March 31, 2018
Costa Mesa, CA
4:27 PM PDT
This’ll take a couple minutes to read through but I hope you’ll find the story worth your time. A few years ago, Pastor Kent Keller emailed me an incredible story which appears below. In a recent email exchange, I was again reminded of the story and the fact that, in spite of my intentions all along, I never actually posted it to my website and Facebook. (Of course that’s now corrected.)
I have a 5:00 a.m. call time tomorrow morning at Calvary Chapel Rialto which necessitates a 3:00 a.m. alarm. So I’m posting this story and song “early” with the desire that it will be a modest blessing to all who click over. May you have a Blessed Easter. He is risen … He is risen Indeed!
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I sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) about 18 1/2 years ago. Because of that I used to go to physical therapy several times a week at a clinic in Coconut Grove, one that specializes in SCI’s. There was a period of about a year and a half where I couldn’t drive, so I used to take MetroRail to and from PT every day. I would get the latest appointment I could every afternoon, so I could “close the joint” and get some extra time on the various machines while the staff cleaned up … which meant that in the “winter” (what we have of one) I would leave the clinic after dark, get on the train in the early evening and head for home.
One night just before Christmas (whatever year this was), I was on the platform at the Coconut Grove station, waiting for a southbound, when a homeless guy who was clearly a few french fries short of a Happy Meal came wandering around the platform, muttering to himself. I pastored a church downtown for seven years, so I spent lots of quality time with homeless people. I know the look, I know the affect, and I know that most people are scared to death of these guys. I also know that most of them are pretty harmless, and they are starved for real human interaction. So I would make eye contact with homeless guys … which made it an absolute certainty they will make a beeline to talk to me.
While everybody else on the platform moved away so he wouldn’t bother them, I sat there in my wheelchair and looked him in the eyes. Sure enough, he came over and sat down on the bench right beside me and started talking to me. His name, coincidentally, was Bob.
He wasn’t really coherent, but he was on a jag about the Grateful Dead, and let me tell you: he knew more about Jerry Garcia than Jerry Garcia’s mama did. I sat there and listened to him tell me a-l-l about Jerry, and mercifully enough in a couple of minutes the southbound train came.
As the train approached, I said, “Bob, you sure know a lot about Jerry Garcia.” He said – and even though it’s been quite a few years, this is pretty much verbatim – “I know something else, too.”
“What’s that, Bob?”
He threw his head back, and started to sing in a pretty decent voice:
Still rolls the stone
Still rolls the stone
Still rolls the stone from the grave …
Bob, I doubt there was another person on the platform who knew that song, but I did. And I got on the train wondering if I had just had a close encounter with something a little bit more than just an addle-brained homeless dude.
I thought you ought to know that story. And God bless you for giving us that song.
— Pastor Kent Keller
Kendall Presbyterian Church (Miami, FL)
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STILL ROLLS THE STONE
W/M: Bob Bennett
I tore off my grave clothes
And cried a pool of tearsFor the voice of the Living One
Who spoke the stars and spheres
Has called me from my darkness
And led me to this place
Where the dead leap
And the blind see His face
Still rolls the stone, still rolls the stone
Still rolls the stone from the grave
Hearts aflame with mercy
Like the sun in midnight sky
While the doubter shrugs his shoulders
And the cynic wonders why
But as it is in Heaven
So now we proclaim
The Lord tells us here to do the same
In the still of a Sunday morning
A grave stands open wide
And a promise kept
While the world slept
Means that no one is inside
As recorded on THE VIEW FROM HERE (2002)