Mention a well known Christian preacher and what do you picture? Probably, a dark suit, white shirt, conservative tie and aloofness, right? This is the cookie-cutter mold for most Christian luminaries who are podium-stars on the Christian church circuits.
Then, there’s Arthur Blessitt. A most unconventional evangelist. He has carried the cross around the world and walked a Guinness World Record 38,102 miles through 315 nations.
Honey and I met Blessitt in Fort Smith, Arkansas, when he was speaking at a junior college. What’s funny is that I had to drag Honey to the small auditorium. She had never heard of him and did not want to attend.
Blessitt appeared in his normal attire: faded jeans and blue chambray work shirt. His short talk consisted of telling about his mission and a few anecdotes from his travels. He ended the meeting with a short prayer.
Afterward, I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for his commitment in obeying Jesus.
As we approached, he pointed at Honey and said, “You really encouraged me today. I looked at your face while I was speaking and just felt encouraged to carry on. Thanks.”
I could have died right there on the spot. Every part of me wanted to scream aloud, “Arthur, she didn’t want to even come here. It was my idea. Me. Me. Me. I’m the Blessitt fan in this family, not Honey.”
Thanks to the Holy Spirit who shushed me, I kept quiet and smiled while he shook Honey’s hand.
Do I remember Blessitt’s speech? No. Or his prayer? No.
But what I do remember was this: his humility.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility. (Proverbs 15:33)
Swimming Upstream appears at this blog site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s a little of this and a little of that, all written to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.