Chris had secured the blowhorn from the army surplus. He had thought long and hard about location. Not speaker's corner in the Downtown. Not the university campus. How about the boulevard in front of the busiest Canadian Tire he could think of? Not on their private property; rather by the road allowance. And Saturday morning in the thick of home renovation and gardening trips. Yeah, that would do just fine.

The sandwich board message on legs read "Jesus sent me here". Nine o'clock he would start and for no more than two hours unless there was a development of discussion with interested inqurers. He had prayed about tracts. Nope, no tracts. Too impersonal. Too masked by religiosity. Too compromised by other street corner messengers who had no real burden of a message; simply a restlessness to be "doing something for the Lord".

Friday night he had taken about a half-hour in prayer: "Lord I am doing this as an offering. Not because you need my input in particular. There are many others. But I sense an urging to represent your Son out there in the everyday, and in the midst of bustling people without any thought of Church. I truly believe that Jesus is most worthy of common respectful discussion in the open streets; not just behind the bricks and mortar of a church. This is the way I will present Him. Conversational. No direct scripture reading. I will have to speak a little slower than normal. The loud speaker distorts things.

I will tell people that I am not out there plugging any particular church. I realize that I might be mistaken for a Jehovah's Witness or a Mormon. They seem to be the only ones systematically on the streets. Pity. They have no idea who your Son is. They are earning big blue stars on a big glitzy tally board somewhere. Grace is entirely foreign to them.

I will abbreviate a testimony, and will move right into one of the fascinating stories of Jesus' kindness and authority by the Sea of Galilee. I desire to show your nobility, courage, compassion and courtesy, Jesus. They have all heard about the blood and gore of Calvary; about the prospect of Hell which results from their basic disinterest as well as from their known wrongdoings. I want to show how you could always identify with the hurt, awkwardness and loneliness, and then offer just the right solution. The people out there will be encountering nothing but strangers who do not want to engage or to consider anyone else's pain. Society is getting just that blunt and dispassionate.

But you Lord, never change. Send a few tomorrow morning who are ready to make contact. Give me the peace and composure to deflect any heckling or naysaying, and not to joust. You Lord never jousted with the common folk. You saved that for the big shot power-trippers of religion."


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