This post from the archives comes as a salute to the now late Andy Griffith! Greatest nongun carrying sheriff the world has ever known. [Insert whistling theme music here.]
Crazy Street Preacher Guy! From October 26, 2009
I grew up in the small rural town of Maysville, OK - population about 1,000 all the time. Growing up there was great! My friends and I often referred to it as Mayberry and we still call it that do to this day. Much like Floyd’s Barber Shop in Mayberry, we had Dugan’s in Maysville. What was not similar is Mayberry’s Barney Fife was more like The Duke’s of Hazards Roscoe P. Coltrane in our town. Oh yeah! Just give em’ a reason to cuff ya' and stuff ya! I’m so getting pulled over the next time I go home.
Anyway…if you’ve ever heard that joke about living in a small town that when you cuss while out with your buddies your mom knows before you get home and is waiting on you with a bar of soap, is not too far off.
The other thing about living in a small town is you know who the “crazies” were, ALL OF THEM, and you weren’t even to go near them or within a city block of where they lived.
One of our local crazies was this older guy who often preached from the street corner at the highway intersection in town. I don’t remember him being on the “STAY AWAY” list but he was noted as a local crazy and most stayed away simply because he was an annoyance…I mean the guy was going off about God, beating his Bible for a congregation that passed through at 35 mph for goodness sakes…this qualified you as CRAZY!
Fast forward to today. Here I am acting on this call from God to minister and plant a church. Giving sermons about worshiping God anywhere anytime with unbridled devotion. Then what do you know but I’m driving down the road where we live in Ada, OK, a lot juices were flowing from a sermon I had been listening to earlier in the day, the right song came on KLOVE (Christian radio station) and the next thing I know I’m so overwhelmed by the love of God, his Holy Spirit and the fact that Jesus came here for me that I could have pulled over right then and there at the car wash and thrown down an impromptu Spirit filled sermon that Billy Graham would have thought twice about responding too…I was on fire!! At that very time I felt like preaching to a 35mph congregation.
HOLY COW I’ AM NOW OFFICIALLY CRAZY!! I’m turning myself in. Tell my family I love them and what day visitation is.
NO! I’m not crazy I just needed an outlet.
Looking back at the crazy street preacher guy where I grew up. He had a calling. He was overwhelmed by the facts that Jesus is the only one that can make us right with God,
He’s the only one that cares for us day in and day out regardless of our faults,
He’s the only one who died so we wouldn’t have to and that feat defeated the devil for us, and
HE’S THE ONLY ONE COMING BACK.
Crazy street preacher guy was so overwhelmed that he needed an outlet and he chose what he felt was right and that was to preach at the cars passing through his town.
Do I think it’s the best approach at reaching people? Not really. But that was his calling not mine.
I’d would much rather answer to God someday for responding and it not being the most effective approach than I would answer this question, “Why didn’t you do anything?” “You didn’t even try to tell people about me.”
God hasn’t called me to preach from the street corner…thank you Jesus. But He has called me to plant a church in a town known for a church on every corner and reach out to those who desire and love Jesus with all their heart but aren’t sure how anymore because they’ve been hit by a Mack truck called religion. God has called me, that through the messages He lays on me, to create servant minded Christ followers who overflow with the same love Jesus had to the point it overflows and breaks them. And then they can truly see the injustice around and can’t help but love and aid those in need!! That’s my calling.
Do the facts that Jesus is our healer between us and God, He cares, He died and He’s coming back move you? Does it make you want to take a step closer to your calling? Does it make you want to devote to Him? Does it make you want to answer that tug at your heart called Jesus and say I’m going to change "blank" today or I’m going to do "blank" for Him today? If it does, YOU’RE NOT CRAZY…well you are…crazy for Him and that’s AWESOME! Especially when the world talks about what they see you doing for Him.
Do I think some see me in the same light as I saw “street corner preacher” for so many years? Absolutely, because human nature is to mock what we don’t understand! And to that I say, “Thank you Lord I must be doing something right!”
Luke 6:22-23 (The Message)
"Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—skip like a lamb, if you like!—for even though they don't like it, I do . . . and all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company; my preachers and witnesses have always been treated like this...”
To close this post I have written a formal apology to crazy street preacher guy.
“Sir, I apologize that I wasn’t mature enough in my faith to understand that you were only answering your calling. I admire you for standing up in the face of mockery day in and day out. I will see you in heaven someday brother. We’ll sit down over a cup of coffee and you can preach to me every sermon God ever laid on your heart…don’t worry if there’s 1,000 sermons I’ve got an eternity to listen and the coffee will never get cold in heaven.”