This past Thursday, I forgot to take tracts with me and the Three Birds Tavern was having a concert, meaning no open mic.
So I decided that, bored, I would just play around with my guitar at Williams Park, where a lot of homeless people hang out in the heart of downtown St Pete. I saw Pisat, one of the kids from the Rock. He told me that the kids don't hang out there anymore. Unfortunately, though, he is still walking in his sins. Please continue to pray for all the kids, wherever they may be. (There's a lot of them. I used to try to remember all their names....Used to...)
After I spoke with him, I unpacked my guitar and started praising. I figure, the God who made us deserves to be praised in the open air of downtown St Pete!
After a couple of songs, somebody put a dollar on my guitar bag. I had set it on a bench, not on the ground, and I didn't have a cap down there, either, because I wasn't playing for money. Then some homeless people came over and wanted to hear me play and sing. Cool. They encouraged me to go over to Janus Landing and play, because people with more money frequent that area. I tried to insist that I wasn't playing for money, but they wouldn't have it. "I'm telling you, man, go over there!"
After disappointing them by justifying official marriage versus unofficial (Romans 13, sorry guys), I decided to walk over there and prayerfully check it out. I don't want to just make a buck with my excellent guitar and simple strum patterns. I want to impact this city with the Gospel.
I had noted in my pleas to the Lord that I was only reaching the lower income levels by riding the bus. I wanted a way to reach the middle class, too. (Upper levels of income probably will come in time, but, if I have run into them, they certainly haven't revealed themselves to me).
So I went home and constructed a simple tract dispensing box, that will simply say, "Take One Please" on the outside, and contain the life-giving Gospel on the inside. This way, whether I make money or not, those who pass by will get the opportunity to read a tract while my hands are busy. I thank the Lord for this cool idea.
This doesn't mean I'm done playing at Three Birds. Another one of my coworkers said something about coming to see me play. Plus, I still want to catch up with the atheists when they come back next month. If they arrive early enough, and the crowd is as it has been, I will ask to use the open mic as a forum to debate them for about 30-45 minutes, until the rest of the crowd comes. Then we'll go to music. I don't know if that plan will work, but it's something I wanted to submit to you all for prayer.
Thank you, again. God bless you all.
P.S. I might be able to play at Three Bird and at Janus Landing on the same night, but only by arriving early downtown and leaving Janus around 8 PM. I can still use another of my off days or nights to play, either at Janus or the Rock, now that it, too, is empty.