A Case Of Mistaken Identity

My first church after seminary had a practice of asking new pastors to preach in a revival meeting. In those days we had week-long revivals once or twice a year. Nevertheless, I stopped to talk to some little girls in the hallway one day when one of them pointed to a revival poster on the bulletin board and remarked that my picture really looked good.

“Yes,” I said with a smile, “I look like Robert Redford, don’t I?”

One of the silly girls ran around telling church members that the new pastor thought he looked like Robert Redford. She told so many that I decided to address the issue from the pulpit.

“I certainly don’t think I look like Redford,” I said with mock seriousness. “I think I look more like Tom Selleck!”

Everybody had a laugh.

At least I was in better company than a pastor friend to whom a teen-ager said he reminded her of a movie star. “Which one?” he asked eagerly. “Gomer Pyle,” she replied.

At the seminary in Louisville an employee always said, “Hi, Chevy” to me, insisting I looked like Chevy Chase. I suppose when wearing glasses there is some resemblance.

I had a greater compliment recently. I met Cherry Starr in the salon where I get my hair cut. She’s also known as Mrs. Bart Starr—the Green Bay Packer legend.  Cherry was a University of Alabama cheerleader when she and Starr secretly married since he feared being married would harm his recruiting prospects. They’ve been married more than 60 years, and now she’s a faithful caregiver for him. I told her I’d purchased a car from Bart Starr Lincoln-Mercury in Birmingham while a Samford student. She instantly liked me. Then she told me I looked like Harrison Ford, and I instantly liked her! In fact, she calls me “Harrison” every time I see her in the shop.

I’ve heard the Harrison Ford comparison before and felt pretty good about it until a colleague remarked that Ford is looking “grizzled” these days.

I suppose we all have look-alike stories we share with family and friends, and of course, we always try to guess who our new babies favor as soon as they’re born.

 But it occurred to me that we who follow Christ have a greater challenge. The Apostle Paul prayed that “Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). That is, Christ needs to take over our lives to such a degree that others see him in us, rather than the rogue sinners they most often encounter. We hear of “hostile” take-overs in the financial world, but Christ’s take-over of our lives should be welcomed. He makes things better than he found them.