Brooks Maguire is a singer/song writer who is blessed to live in one of my very favorite locations on this earth – Maui. I had the fortune of meeting him in the mid 1990’s when a friend of mine suggested we ask him to perform at a beach-side party we were hosting on the North Shore of Oahu. I took that recommendation, and that was the first of many times I got to hear him play. His soulful, tenor voice is one of the best I have ever heard, and his friendship is even finer.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are only a handful of people in my life that that seem to embody Emerson’s quote. And Brooks is one of those. He is truly happy and has a zest for life, his family and friends, and his music. We are all a product of our experiences and our values, and perhaps his zest stems from a life changing event on Feb 17, 1984.
This event was chronicled by People magazine in 1996 in the article, “In The Company of Angels.” Here is his story from the article:
A MUSICIAN IS HEALED BY A STRANGER’S PRAYERS
For weeks, Marilyn Pallas, 49, a Houston homemaker, had visions of a blond man in need of help. On Feb. 17, 1984, she found him. Heading home from a prayer meeting, she and her friend Bonnie Keith came upon an accident on a Houston freeway. “It felt like my car went into slow motion,” recalls Keith, now a nondenominational Christian minister. “We had to stop.”
At the scene they found guitarist Brooks Maguire hemorrhaging, his legs nearly severed above the knees. Moments earlier, he had been struck by a car after stopping to help a woman change a flat tire. Pallas knelt beside him, held his hands and began to pray. “The moment we touched his legs,” says Keith, “the bleeding stopped. There is no question in my mind it was divine intervention.”
At the hospital, Maguire underwent 12 hours of surgery to repair his crushed arteries. But infections set in and doctors asked permission to amputate both legs. As Maguire agonized over the decision, Pallas arrived to pray with him. “Don’t listen to the doctors,” she said, then told him of a vision she had had of him walking on his own. Hours later, when doctors checked Maguire’s wounds, the infection had begun to heal. “The doctor said, ‘You may be making a liar out of all of us,’ ” says Brooks, 41. “I said, ‘It’s not me. It’s God.’ ”
Released in hip-high casts four months later, Maguire was running 8-minute miles within two years. “None of this would have been possible without Marilyn’s relationship with God,” says Maguire. “Yet she never took credit for it.”
Maguire never saw Pallas again after he moved in 1987 to Maui, where he eventually married Kelly, 26, a veterinary technician. Last summer, Pallas died of colon cancer. Beth Stephenson, 41, one of her four children, says her mother was just too busy to keep in touch with everyone she helped. “God used her all the time to pray for people,” says Stephenson. Her example still inspires Maguire. “We humans put God in a box,” he says. “But my experience blew out every boundary of what God could do or was willing to do—especially for someone like me.”
Brooks has just released his third CD, “The Road I Never Chose”, and the very first listen absolutely wowed me. Sure it’s his great voice and songwriting. And it’s absolutely the outstanding cast of musicians who accompanied him on this recording produced in Nashville. But more importantly, his passion for life and his loved ones emerges as the central theme of the tracks on this amazing recording.
Brooks Maguire’s website is here. You can listen to clips from his CD and order your own copy directly from the site.
See the video tribute to our men and women serving in the US Military and hear Brooks’ title song.