An earnest prayer that a good God in heaven would remember a forgotten soul on earth. A prayer that God’s grace would seep into the cracks and cover one the church let slip through. A prayer to take a life that no one else could use and use it as no one else could.

Not a prayer from a pulpit, but one from a bed in a convalescent home. Not a prayer prayed confidently by a black-robed seminarian, but one whispered fearfully by a recovering alcoholic.

A prayer to do what God does best: take the common and make it spectacular. To once again take the rod and divide the sea. To take a pebble and kill a Goliath. To take water and make sparkling wine. To take a peasant boy’s lunch and feed a multitude. To take mud and restore sight. To take three spikes and a wooden beam and make them the hope of humanity. To take a rejected woman and make her a missionary.


There are two graves in this chapter. The first is the lonely one in the Locke Hill Cemetery. The grave of Grace Llewellen Smith. She knew not love. She knew not gratification. She knew only the pain of the chisel as it carved this epitaph into her life.

Sleeps, but rests not. 
Loved, but was loved not. 
Tried to please, but pleased not. 
Died as she lived—alone.

That, however, is not the only grave in this story. The second is near a water well. The tombstone? A water jug. A forgotten water jug.

It has no words, but has great significance—for it is the burial place of insignificance.

Used with permission.  Copyright © 2008 Max Lucado from the book Cast of Characters: Common People in the Hands of an Uncommon God published by Thomas Nelson; September 2008, $24.99 US, ISBN: 978-0-8499-2124-7