Bluejeans, Tattoos and Jesus
I have a real debt of gratitude to evangelist R.W. Schambach of Tyler, Texas. Often on a Friday night my family would hop into the car and head out of Chatham to enjoy the fresh air and to get better radio reception from Detroit for the "Voice of Power" daily broadcast.
Brother Schambach always found the right balance in his messages. Acknowledging trials as real but pressing through on the promises for victory. He was Everyman's preacher, and his auditorium or tent meetings drew an amazing cross-section of people. The common denominator was need. Praise was electric. Prayer lines were long and fruitful.
I remember one "big blue tent" meeting at the Detroit fairgrounds. Half way through the message our baby Jordan became cranky, and I left the girls to give him some fresh air in his stroller around the periphery. Seated toward the back were four biker-looking individuals, seemingly out of place. Denim. Chains. Beards (All except the girl).Tattoos. Folded muscular arms.
I noted them, chuckled and moved on. Jordan eventually calmed down and we returned to the family. Next Schambach asked if perhaps "Danny" were present and would he come forward to speak to the people.
Up came the biggest and the baddest of the bikers with a moving story of salvation and service. Apparently his praying "Gramma" cornered him into a church meeting, and when the invitation was so sweetly and spiritually given, he found himself responding as if feet were not even touching the ground. Hard to imagine this big guy ever experiencing weightlessness! Ever acknowledging vulnerability.
Danny alluded to crimes and debauchery punished and many others left undetected. But now he was on board for Jesus and sharing his blessings on the road and at inter-state bikers' rallies. Schambach then interrupted him and advised that he would be taking away a Gospel tent as a gift for his biker ministry.
The man was overwhelmed . Bursting forth with praise he started to dance across the platform with the fastest steps ever recorded on a heavy man.
So much for first impressions, Doug, when it comes to servants of the King.
Now, some of my friends of Reformed thought will be quick to say that if the man were destined to be softened and saved, God would have his way. but remember as the apostle Paul was insistent in saying in Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
It all fits together.