Street Preachers & Street Praisers

I was lucky enough (some would say unlucky) to attend Mariners’ games on back-to-back nights this week.

I love the city, I love the stadium and I love baseball. It’s a fun way to relax on our beautiful Seattle summer days.

The Mariners went one and one in the two games I attended, but this post isn’t about the games it’s about what happened before each game.

If you’ve been to a major sporting event you know what it’s like outside the stadium.

People are selling all sorts of food, merchandise, and trinkets.

The smell of BBQ, kettle corn, and calories fills the streets.

Shouts of “Programs!”

“Popcorn!”

“Hot dogs!”

Echo through the sea of humanity flowing towards the stadium entrances.

It was during this pregame hustle and bustle that I noticed two groups trying to get their message out in two very different ways.

I’ll call them the “Street Preachers,” and the “Street Praisers.”

The first group you’ve likely seen before.

They were a small group of angry, loud and confrontational sign waving people. Their signs read things like, “Repent! The wrath of God is coming” and “Turn or Burn.”

They would shout into their blow horns threats about what God would do to you if you don’t behave correctly.

It was uncomfortable, awkward and embarrassing to watch.

My kids have asked about this group in the past, “Dad, what are they so mad about?”

People avoid these Street Preachers by walking as far away as possible. Some chose to fight back by mocking them.

It’s a sad sight.

The Street Praisers were much different.

This was a group of young ladies who were singing worship songs at the top of their lungs.

If you’ve ever seen a touring children’s choir from Africa, then that’s a pretty close comparison. Only there were only eight, not 38.

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They sang and sang and as people passed they smiled, stopped to listen and even applauded.

What a difference.

Street Preachers and Street Praisers.

One group was attempting to confront others with “the truth;” the other unashamedly sang about the Grace and goodness of Jesus.

I’m more likely to trust the recommendation of someone who raves about the product they’ve started using as opposed to someone who gives me the horror story of something they hated.

The message Jesus called to share is good news. It should be delivered with a smile. Grace, hope, forgiveness, kindness and peace are a reason to smile.

The Street Praisers have this one nailed. They are delivering the message with a smile.

I want my life to reflect God’s smile over it.

I want my life to be attractive to passers-by.

The Gospel is good news.

My words, the way I treat people, and my facial expressions should reflect his Grace and goodness.

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