Monday, October 12, 2009

One of Whitney's pups (Sig)

I am so thankful for the opportunities I had last week in working as a Chaplain. So many needs came to light, that by Friday, I was overwhelmed at the depth of their brokenness.

The Lord provided multiple opportunities to share His Gospel. I could see the hunger in many of them, and yet the common desire in our culture to "make it on my own," seemed to prevail. Many were running away from something, and this was the reason they became a "Carnie" (one who travels the State Fair circuit and works the rides or games commonly seen at each of them).

Carnies who "talk" for a living, were suddenly exposed. It was clear they were used to being able to 'outgun' others with their words. Some put on a "Christian-eze" air when we talked, but most became quickly transparent.

They are not used to having others seek their best interest. In fact, they live in a world where no one cares about their needs. Each quickly submits that the "bosses" only care about getting their own money. Many spoke of money owed to them, that they had yet to see and feared they never would.

They travel with few possessions, and are not equipped to deal with cold weather or heavy rains. Last week in Tulsa, they got both. Suddenly, many of them had needs exposed they didn't expect to encounter.

When we work the Fair as Chaplains, we have one remain back in the Chaplain's trailer, where Carnies can come for certain supplies (blankets, toiletries, rain ponchos, Bibles, gloves, prayer, etc). Then usually four to six of us spread throughout the fairgrounds, to interact, attempting to meet spiritual needs.

It is uncommon to have much traffic at the trailer. Well, at the beginning of the Fair, we will often see many come for blankets and other needed supplies not generally handed out at other fairgrounds. This is often the end of traffic at the trailer.

Because of the wet and cold weather, their sales were way down, their frustrations way up, and their needs abundant. From 10:30 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, we had over 150
carnies show up at our trailer to have needs met!

Praise God we were able to help supply those needs! We got to pray with many!

On this day, the lesson was clear.

Though the Word tells us not to show favortism within our church bodies, we are talking about a segment of society that could easily be ignored in many churches across our land. They don't dress right. They don't bathe often. Many other needs can be identified just by looking at them.

For this reason, too often, they exist without knowing the love of a Savior, or of Christian brothers and sisters, willing to look beyond the external.

Interestingly, they are not very different from you and me. They have many of the same wants, needs and desires that we have.

To them, Christianity isn't real. If it were, someone would have reached out a long time ago. If Truth were out there and making a legitimate difference in peoples lives, the evidence would surround them. It doesn't.

It must be easy to call out to indifferent, passing people. Jeering at them. Making fun. Trying to incite them into playing a game.

They learn to prey upon our vanity. It works. Too often, it works.

I know my vanity often lies closer to the surface than my faith. They know it, too. They make a living off of it.

If my faith were real, they should know love in a way they have yet to experience.

Vanity is real. It's worn by most of us. It's tangible. It's identifiable.

Reaching out? That virtue must belong to someone else...



At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Shawn Ryals said...

You don't know me but I am praying for you and your family. I wanted you to know how much BJ's testimony has touched my life as well as my son's who is taking his first overseas missions trip next summer. God is still using Bj today and his life for HIS GLORY! Our prayers are still with your family and will be throughout the year. God Bless you, Shawn Ryals

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Thanks Brent for the reminder of who God's people are...they are everybody no matter what that body looks like, smells like or how they talk.

Have a blessed day and thanks again for the chat yesterday.



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