Thursday, October 27, 2016

Clowning Around in Chuck Town?

If you keep up with the national media at all, you have noticed that clowns are popping up everywhere at random times.  A. J. Willingham, a reporter for CNN, recently wrote, “People have been arrested.  Schools have sent out warning letters.  Social media is crawling with creepy homemade clown videos.  And it came up at the White House media briefing this week.”  Is this frenzy going to meet the borders of our beloved town?  I hope not because creepy clowns weird me out.  I don’t want to offend any hardworking clowns, but you are not going to catch me clowning around in Chuck Town unless God writes the call in stone.  When I was a child I watched the Stephen King movie “IT”, and ever since then, when I see a clown I wet my pants!  Well, that may be a silly-string stretch of the truth, but I had a plethora of weird, scary clown dreams after I watched the movie.  Enough to make me not want to be around clowns. 

Strangely enough, God has called me to clown around before.  Approximately five years ago, I signed up for a mission trip to Leon, Mexico.  During one of our trip-planning meetings, Paul Koonce, our Director of Missions, asked our small group if anyone would consider dressing up like a clown and performing a few basic illusions while sharing a gospel message.  My hands were glued to my side.  First of all, I hated clowns, and secondly, my introverted self was not about to perform illusions before a crowd.  It wasn’t happening, or that is what I thought anyway.  Sometime later, Paul invited me to lunch to talk about the trip.  During our lunch meeting, he asked me to dawn the wig, makeup, and suit with the funny tie.  I was scared to death!  He explained to me that the children would watch the illusions and respond to the gospel message.  It had everything to do with the gospel message and nothing to do with me.  Even though it was the last thing I wanted to try, I told my friend, "Yes".
A little nervous in the airport, I was sure that customs was going to search my suitcase, see my costume, and bury me in a Mexican jail.  It was irrational, but what was rational about me dressing up like a clown in Mexico?  Another fun outtake was, that during the trip, I bit off some really hot peppers, and my team members gave me the name, “Hot-lips the Clown”.  My wife Em enjoyed that the most.  I can’t say that I really loved the total experience, because it was a little awkward, but I did learn how to make puppies and swords out of balloons, and I have been making balloon animals ever since.  But, the greatest takeaway was that some folks got saved.  That was the whole reason we traveled to Mexico, and that is what drives me to serve the Lord.  The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”  Paul was willing to do anything so that people would come to understand the lifesaving Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Are you willing to do anything to see folks saved?  That’s my goal.  So, if God calls me to clown around in Chuck Town, I will dawn the makeup and the wig but only to save some souls!