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streetwalker

My first instinct was to honk the horn and then flip him off. All I could feel was screeching shame and embarrassment. I wanted to tell him to put the sign away, get back on his bike, and ride off into the sunset. Where he might go didn’t really matter to me… just as long as it was a place where there were no people.

SignI wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to punch him in the throat.

I did want to talk to him, but I already knew that would be a total waste of time. He wasn’t just walking with his sign… he was marching. Desert boots and camo-pants relayed the message that this soldier was not to be messed with. Saving the world from the clutches of hell is serious business.

Let me set the stage for you. I was running errands last week, and a guy I’ve seen at other places in town at various times had set up shop at one of the busier intersections in Colorado Springs. The message on the large neon-green sign he was carrying began with the word FORNICATORS.

Fornicators. I never hear that word used anywhere by anyone. Who talks like that? Anyone throwing that word around as a normal way of speaking isn’t prone to lead with grace.

Other attention getting words included in the message were: AGONY, ETERNAL FLAMES, JUDGEMENT, and of course… SIN and HELL. You couldn’t smear fear and condemnation any thicker.

Sounds yummy, huh?

God could not have been painted as any more pissed, and this guy confirmed it: Humanity must be God’s great mistake. HELL is God’s just and delightful obligation.

Pack your bags, people! Hope you like hot and smokey.

I double-checked my bible. That word fornicators is found in the New Testament twice, but there is no mention of hell in either passage. Of course, there are strong warnings about life choices in the 1900-year-old text, but the notion that FORNICATORS (or anyone else on the lists) are automatically bound for hell isn’t in there.

If I am to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, I think this was some kind of weird attempt at evangelism. Maybe, but I’m not totally certain that qualifies as evangelism. No alternative remedy was offered. Just burn baby, burn.

If the streetwalker was attempting to jolt people to do something in order to escape the flames of Satan, the sign could have easily read, “You are so screwed.” In theory, it’s supposed to be helpful. It’s not. I checked around. A few did flip him off. There were honks and angry stares. I just wanted to crawl in a hole.

I do wonder how he got like he is. FORNICATORS. Wow! Had he caught his wife in bed with another lover? Did his momma split with another man when he was a child? Was dad a pla-ya? What? What has happened that causes people to peddle such an angry God vibe? Where is the love? Have they ever really met Jesus at all?  

If Jesus is the poster-child of the Trinity, we’re going to have to add love, grace, and forgiveness back into the equation. The divine perspective is for a benevolent universe.” Richard Rohr

Anything that remotely smacks of hope, begins with GOD is LOVE. That is more than enough to change your life forever!

Streetwalker was having none of that. There was no alternative suggested. Just alienation. Although he didn’t offer salvation as some kind of solution, you’d still have to wonder, what is the point?

So… what about you and your evangelistic notions? What’s your angle? Do you think people need to be saved in order to escape hell, or do you think people need to become aware of the magnificent blessing of life afforded us by His grace, His love, and His lavish forgiveness? We have the best news on the planet! That might not always be said about how we package and deliver that news.

I wish I could make my own sign. Not on neon cardboard, but written on people’s minds and hearts. It would say:

LOVE MUST EXPRESS ITSELF

Yes, God loves you…

Even when you get it wrong.

Yes, God loves you…

No matter what you believe.

Yes, God loves you…

Regardless of how life has treated you.

Yes, God loves you…

In spite of what hate tells you.

Yes, God loves you…

For GOD IS LOVE.

This is for you streetwalker:

Lord, I pray that you would break through somehow to this man’s heart. Heal what needs to be healed. Touch every wound and restore peace. Show yourself as alive and loving. Holy Spirit, bring the witness of Your presence to his mind. May his message become the same as Your message: “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” Amen

Love you all,

MDP

xo

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joseph Rodriguez
    April 26, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I still think your first thought of “punching him in the throat”, may have been best..;-/
    “God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him, the world might be saved” John 3;17….. Everyone knows John 3;16, but few know the very next verse!!!

    • April 26, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Joey… I’m not proud of my first impulse. I had to forgive also, but that approach is so counter-productive! I’m befuddled.

  2. Gary McGinnis
    April 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Good blog…
    Stuff like that makes me want to (fill in the blank)….

  3. April 26, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Ahh Mike! I know that revulsion of some of the things I see that are purported to be God’s message. My grandmothers saying of “bless their heart” is what I like my breath prayer to be so I don’t let my own instincts react…it works most of the time…Mark

    • April 26, 2016 at 11:11 am

      good advice. I have a friend that says, “Bless their heart” is code for: “What a dumb-ass.” lol

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