On my campus there’s a “public square” type area where people who want to get on a soapbox typically plant themselves and shout things. It’s also the perfect place for a street preacher to make his voice heard.
Yesterday was the second time I’ve seen such a preacher this semester. The first time it was a weedy little white guy named Jesse Morell, on a hot day with a huge crowd of scoffers. That was an interesting day with many encounters and experiences which I may share more about at another time. This time it was a black guy with a huge black Bible-case which he (quite literally) thumped to emphasize his points. It was much colder, and there were fewer people, although there was still a respectable knot of scoffers who took pictures/phone videos of themselves standing on their heads, doing bunny-ears, or doing cartwheels around the preacher.
I must have come late in the sermon, because I would guess the preacher only spent ten or fifteen more minutes preaching while I was there to watch. If you can imagine your most stereotypical fire-and-brimstone black preacher, this guy was it. It was actually kind of a neat experience, though it felt like only half a conversation without the equally stereotypical (and equally wonderful) black congregational responses. “Yessuh! Sho ’nuff! Aaaamen!”
After pounding away on sin, repentance, filthy rap music, and all that good classic stuff, he wrapped up with this word: “Jesus Christ is coming back to judge all of us. Be ready. He’ll come back when we least expect it. So time is short.” And then suddenly, he picked up his coat and scarf from where he’d thrown them on the ground, turned and said “Happy Thanksgiving everybody.” Then he walked out of the circle of observers without another word.
Time is short. Let those of us who have breath to thank the giver of all good things do so. Let us savor the blessings of today, while today is still today.
Oh, and here’s a picture of bacon-latticed turkey: