About a year ago a vision popped into my mind. I imagined what it would look like if Jesus were to walk down the streets of our city, bearing a cross on His shoulders. I had played with the idea for a while, but really never did anything with it. Then an opportunity presented itself last year at the Durham Gay Pride Parade. I dressed up in full Jesus outfit, bearing a rather large cross on my back, as a visual witness there. My presence, or rather the visual presence of Jesus, was not a very welcomed sight at this event. The people mocked, laughed, and even cursed at me.
But it wasn't me they were angry with...it was who I represented that angered them.
Of course they had their Jesus in the parade and rolling around on skates, but they didn't have a problem with him because he represented their cause. That was a great experience, and I believe it did some good.
When God gives you a vision, His purpose will always succeed if you step out in faith.
That was almost a year ago, and I haven't thought about it much until recently. This past Friday I felt strongly that I should pull out the Jesus outfit again, and carry the cross through downtown Durham. So I loaded up the Jeep and headed to Durham. When I arrived, I parked at a local church that I had attended once. I opened my truck door, and in full Jesus garb I pulled the cross out of the back of the Jeep. Suddenly I noticed that people were already staring. They didn't say anything, they just stared. Then I hoisted the cross up on my shoulders and began walking towards the downtown area. It only took just a few steps and then it started. People begin to yell, "JESUS", and some were laughing and snickering. The closer I got to my destination, the more the onslaught would build. Many people looked shocked and didn't know what to think or say. Then as the steady stream of traffic zoomed by, people would yell out of their car windows, "HEY JESUS!"
Finally I arrived at Main Street. As I continued walking down the sidewalk of the city, I could see and feel people gawking at me.
I guess so, it's not everyday you see Jesus walking down Main Street, or any street for that matter.
As I pressed forward I saw a man and woman standing outside of one of the shops. The man yelled out, "HEY DIDN'T I SEE YOU IN A ROCK BAND ONCE?". I didn't acknowledge him at all and kept my pace. Then as I passed he shouted, "OH YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE!" I still did not respond, but kept my stride.
Then I approached a girl probably in her early twenties. She asked, "What are you doing ?" and I told her that I was being a witness for Jesus. Then I stopped and set down my cross and begin talking with her. I asked her where she was with her relationship with Jesus. She said she was an atheist and didn't believe in Jesus. Not only that, she didn't believe Jesus ever existed. I asked her why she didn't believe he existed even though there is historical facts that say he did. She tried to explain her mind set on the matter, but other people were starting to come up to me.
People were wanting to take a picture with me, so I agreed, but only if I could preach to them. They agreed, took a picture with me, and I preached.
People driving by in their cars would hold up traffic just to take pictures of me. The response to what I was doing was overwhelming, and this was just the beginning.
I would meet up with many other people. One particular lady stuck out in my mind. She walked up to me and looked me up and down, with her mouth gaping open. I asked, "Are you okay? " She responded, "I'm a little weirded out." I asked her if she needed prayer for anything and she said she needed a job and she also needed prayer for her menopause. I prayed with her, and the presence of God was mighty on her, she said, "OH I FEEL SOMETHING, OHHHHH WHEEEW!" I could feel God's presence too, and I told her before I left, "If you want all these things, seek first the kingdom of God." I went further down Main Street, when a hot dog vendor yell out to me, "JESUS, HEY JESUS, COME OVER HERE AND BLESS MY CART!" I thought he was mocking, but turns out he was an awesome brother in the Lord. I stopped and talked with him for about thirty minutes, and we had prayer and worshipped God with uplifted hands right there next to the hot dogs! Then another brother saw us from across the street and ran over to join us. We had an awesome time ministering to one another.
After that, a young guy on a bicycle rode up next to me and asked what I was doing, in a sour tone of course. I told him that I was being a witness for the Lord and asked "WHY, have you come to criticize me?" He said, "No, I'm just real skeptical of people like you, because I have seen it done the wrong way." I responded, "I know what you mean...people that tell you you're going to hell, but don't offer any hope in the process right?" "Yes!" he said. "That's exactly it, amongst other things!" I told him that I wasn't there to condemn anyone, but only to share the good news of the gospel. Then about that time a curious woman came up to us, and together he and I witnessed to her, and explained to her how to be saved. Afterwards the man on the bike shook my hand and thanked me for what I was doing, then rode away.
I decided I would go to another location, so I headed back to my Jeep, but before I could make it a man and woman walked from behind a building and asked for a picture. I said, "Okay, but I get to preach to you." They agreed, we took a picture, and then I preached. After I preached to them for a little while the man wanted to know how he could get in contact with me so that I could come to his church and speak. He said, "I will talk to my pastor about it." So I gave him our web address and my name. He recently friend requested me on facebook.
I loaded the cross back onto the Jeep and headed to Ninth Street. When I arrived there were just a few people out walking. So I unloaded again and was on my way. I got the usual stares, and double takes, and a few people actually would turn to go another way. My cross has wheels on it so I can pull it, and as I passed by a bar, a drunk yelled out, "JESUS DIDN'T HAVE WHEELS!" and everyone erupted with laughter and continued shouting as I rolled away. One guy called me the Anti-Christ...not sure what he meant by that. I continued around the block, and people continued to point and laugh. I was back at the Jeep and off to my next destination
I decided to conclude my walk on Hillsborough Road. Before I went down Hillsborough Road I went down LaSalle Street and stood in front of the MAXX-X pornographic movie store. I stood right at the exit to the store, so that as they drove out of the parking lot the first thing they saw was a visual of a cross and a man dressed up like Jesus. After that I made my way down Hillsborough Road. Many people were pulling over in their cars trying to get a picture on their cell phones. I saw people looking out the windows of the stores to catch a glimpse of the cross-wielding Jesus. Some people would pull up next to me in their cars asking what I was doing, while others would pull over, get out of their cars and run over to get a picture. I told them my usual stipulation for pictures, they would have to let me preach to them. I got to share the gospel to many, many people!
To end the day on a high note, a group of teenagers pulled over and asked if they could take a picture with me. They said they had been following me around. So right there on Hillsborough Road I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to five teenagers. They listened intently and hung on every word I believe the Spirit of God was saying to them.
Jesus be glorified for the great things He did that day!
We are called to share the gospel, and if we listen to the Spirit, He will give us unique and effective ways to do it.
I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus was lifted up THIS DAY!
As Christians we don't have to bear the cross that Jesus did, but we can put wheels on one and carry our own.
THEN JESUS SAID TO HIS DISCIPLES, "IF ANYONE WOULD COME AFTER ME, HE MUST DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME." MATT. 16:24
Radical For Jesus,