December 12

Of Forgiveness, Crosses to Bear, and How God Works in a Joey + Rory Song

Joey and Rory. Such as blessing to have this godly couple among our country singers! They have dedicated their musical talents to writing and singing songs that will make us think about God’s involvement in our lives. One that has especially caught my interest is the song, “The Preacher and the Stranger.”


It is a tale of a stranger showing up on a preacher’s doorstep. They talked over coffee and before a fireplace as the storm rages outside. As an illustration of how life’s circumstances are unfair, the preacher recounted the death of his son. Hit by a drunk driver, his son’s life was beyond saving so he prayed to Jesus for healing. Sadly, his son has to go. While he did not blame Jesus for not heeding his prayers, he admitted how he still could not bring himself to forgive the driver. With tears, the stranger confessed he was that drunk driver. He begged the preacher to forgive him. It was no accident that he was brought there then. God could have arranged their meeting.


Rory’s set up of a church and two people taking refuge in it is brilliant!

He has created a strong imagery that would have us remember it for long. Additionally, the metaphor of the cross used to represent trials was in effect leading us to think of Jesus’ cross. Just as we were forgiven through that ultimate sacrifice, so should we forgive those who have hurt us.


Much appreciated here is the honest revealing of the raw emotions humans feel when they are hurt. And preachers, including their families, are not immune from pain.  Sunday after Sunday, they stand before a crowd telling them to always take heart. Little do these people know the ordeal they may be going through. Still, they force themselves to be pillars of strength. Only God (and perhaps their wives) know the real and fragile them when no one is around.

“The Preacher and the Stanger” by Joey and Rory



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