Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Drunken Street Preacher by T Wieland Allen

This is a true story written by my friend and mentor Tommye Allen of Muskogee Oklahoma...yes she's an Okie alright... I just had to share a part of  it.



While in San Francisco recently we had an interesting experience. We heard a street preacher who was inebriated, but still he was talking about God and his marvelous ways. No words of hell, fire and damnation came from his mouth, only kind, loving words.
How the event played out was that several of us were watching our daughters, sons and in our case our granddaughter at soccer practice in a park. We were sitting on benches and enjoying the antics of three and four year old children doing soccer drills.
Suddenly out of nowhere an unkempt man approached the spectators and asked us a strange question, "Do you think it would be offensive if I smoke a cigarette out here in the park in the sight of the children?" What a gracious question to ask. He seemed genuinely concerned about smoking where the children could see him.
We all assured him that it was fine with all of us if he smoked because he was certainly far enough away so that the children wouldn't be subjected to the smoke. He wandered off and sat on a bench about 25 feet from us. He walked unsteadily, staggering a bit, and it was very obvious that he was under the influence of some form of alcohol. He plopped himself down on the adjacent bench and lit a cigarette. He watched intently as the soccer coach led the children in their drills. Then he would gaze admiringly at the spectators as we cheered every accurate kick of the ball, while we laughed and talked among ourselves.
After a few minutes the man staggered back into our sight and began his preaching. He told us that the children were very blessed to have parents and grandparents who encourage them and treasure them. He added that the soccer coach will be blessed mightily by God because she is teaching children valuable lessons that will benefit them in life. Then he quoted the scripture, "Whatsoever you do to the least of these My children, you do to Me." And he told us that the young soccer coach was right in the center of God's will because she was speaking kindly and lovingly to the children, so she will be blessed.
I became very impressed by the man's knowledge of the Bible at this point.
He went on to say that he didn't have any admiration from parents or other adults as a child and he is delighted to see that there are children who have a foundation of love, that it will give them a stability in their lives that he never had.
Then the sermon preached by the drunken man switched subjects to what happened in the Garden of Edan when satan tempted Adam. He made it clear that Eve influenced Adam, but that Adam was the one who was responsible for allowing satan to enter the earth. He went on to talk about problems between men and women and how the problems affect families.
My thoughts were that this man has more revelation than a lot of preachers who were standing in pulpits that day preaching to an auditorium full of people.
Quickly the sermon switched subjects again. It began to be apparent that some people in our group of spectators were getting weary of listening to him and trying to watch the children at the same time. The new subject of his sermon came in the form of a testimony. He began to tell us about his alcoholism. He testified that hard liquor had ruined his life. He said that God is gracious and kind, that He has taken away the desire for hard liquor. The man said the desire for the taste of hard liquor is completely gone. Then he confessed that the desire for the taste for beer is still with him, but he is trusting God to take away the taste for beer, that he only drinks a few beers every day. My husband and I encouraged him, agreeing that God will complete the work He began.
The other spectators were very edgy by this time, so my husband gently told the man that we were pleased for him, but if he didn't mind that we really wanted to devote all of our attention to watching the children in their soccer pursuits.
The drunken street preacher apologized profusely with genuine humility for taking up our time, but he did want us to know how God helps him personally.
He reiterated that God will bless the soccer coach for her kindness to children, that the children are blessed by having loving parents and grandparents, and that we will all be blessed by God for bringing up the children with love and respect and kindness.
The kind gentleman staggered back to his bench and resumed watching the soccer practice.
He secretly drank from a can of beer discretely concealed within a paper sack, I'm sure to conceal it from the sight of the children.
As soccer practice ended, the man rose from his bench and staggered deeper into the park toward the area where homeless people sleep. We all watched him with what I'm sure were varied emotions, some with relief that he was gone. One of the moms said that all the parents chuckle at the fact that the "crazies" in the park never come out unless out of town grandparents are visiting soccer practice. All the other parents agreed.
My husband and I told them that we weren't bothered in any manner, that we were impressed with his knowledge of the Bible, his revelation knowledge and his gentile nature.
As we rose from our benches to leave the park the kids began running and playing together, and the parents were discussing the schedule for the next practice. My husband and I walked slowly away and joined hands and quietly prayed that God would complete the work that He has begun in that wonderful man, asking that God will completely take away the taste for all alcoholic beverages in an instant, and that the man will be completely whole again with a revelation of how much God loves him and honors him, even in his present addiction. That's the way God works, he looks beyond the outer man with its imperfections. God sees the inner man and his needs.
I know God is blessing the street preacher who spoke Truth to us in loving words, even with slurred speech and unsteady legs. God spoke through an ass one time to Balaam. God spoke kind words to us through a drunken street person, a homeless man who was fighting his own personal demons.
God is a Good Father and He will see that the man wins his battle. We have asked God to do that for that lonely man who is surely one of the people Jesus spoke about who are "poor in spirit" and said that "theirs is the Kingdom of God." Jesus also said whatever two people agree and ask on earth, that God will do it so we know that God is giving that man the desires of his heart, completely taking away his addiction,
That drunken street preacher may become another Paul, sent to preach freedom to other captives of alcohol and drugs who have been rejected by their families, who gather together in the park with other troubled lonely people in an effort to form a semblance of a family.
The drunken street preacher certainly blessed me and I know God is blessing him.

photo from www.life.com/image/1675450
photo from http://www.aspencountry.com/

Posted by "Dear One, Love God........." at 6:28 PM 0 comments

Labels: '10 - God can speak truth though a drunk., march 20
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