Last night I was at the store buying milk and a precooked chicken dinner. I had just finished the transaction when I noticed that the uniformed store security had surrounded some one in the area where the grocery carts were kept. I snuck a peek over the shoulder of one of the guards expecting to see one of my flock. What I found was a young man maybe 19 or twenty years old swaying and singing. The guards didn’t know what to do because the only thing this tall strapping young man was doing was singing, loudly.
What was he singing? A hymn.
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
It was his volume that was the problem. So I set down my milk and chicken and stepped over to him. He became nervous and began swaying more radically. I said, “Hi I’m Pastor Jeff, whats your name?”
“Mike,” he said.
“Hi Mike. You have a great singing voice and I really love the song you are singing but………I was wondering if you could sing it quieter.”
Mike unzips his coat, pulls the left side open and grabs and invisible knob and making noise like a turning knob makes several turns. Then begins to sing in a softer and quieter voice.
I turned to the Guards and said is this okay and smiling they nodded and dispersed.
I stayed with Mike for about 20 minutes when his mother showed up asking if he had caused any trouble. “No,” I said, “no trouble at all, at least not in this realm.”
His mom explained that she has to leave him out of the store or he begins to sing hymns loudly and people get upset.
“I can imagine,” I said. “Nothing people hate worse than having their need for Jesus presented to them.”
I gathered up my stuff and walked with Mike out to their car. I invited him to come visit my church any time he wanted. Especially since they only live about 10 blocks away. Mike was very happy for the invite, but I didn’t see the same response in Mom.
But ya know, all things are possible.