The Burger King Man
Jesus Did It!
By: Lennie Fisher
In the early 1990's I was living in south Florida. I was involved in helping a church organization from Australia seeking to establish a new church. The head of this organization was a gifted Evangelist and dynamic leader.
I was blessed to be able to help, but at times our opinions differed. This was fine as we both wanted to find the right way, so disagreement in these circumstances can be healthy. He wanted to build a big church and I felt that he should be planting small churches and allowing them to grow under local leadership.
Things where not going my way as we had found a monster church partly constructed. The folks had run out of money. My friend (lets call him Aussie) was raring to go. I drove him to the place and he was all fired up. This was perfect in his opinion. However, we found the pastor of this vacant "monster" and he was not selling. "Not on your life!" was his reply. He was determined to find the cash to continue building. Aussie was disappointed but not deterred. "No problem," he said. "We can buy land and build a place that makes that monster look small."-
I was sort of wondering if I was wrong, so I was in a sense- asking God quietly to show me the way. I could best help Aussie if I had clear direction. As I was thinking all this, we started to drive back home. I made a mistake and came off the interstate highway too soon, so we ending up driving along through towns and villages.
"Hey - look!" suddenly exclaimed Aussie. "There is a Burger King. Let's eat!" Aussie was always hungry so I smiled and said, "Okay - no problem," and I pulled across into the parking lot.
Now the story gets interesting. When Aussie eats, he just eats, and I mean he eats fast. I brought the food to the table, but had forgotten the straws. When I came back 20 seconds later, his burger was gone and I mean gone. He was rolling up the paper and said, "That was good!"
I knew he was so restless that I would not get peace to eat, so I quickly got him another.
Then as if from nowhere, a homeless man sat at the next table to us. The place was large and almost empty, but this guy sat beside us. Lets be honest: this guy did not smell sweet and did not look very appealing, with long unkempt hair and beard. I began eating like Aussie -- fast! Let's get out of here ... was the order of the day. I make this point to establish there was no conversation between Aussie and I. We sat there eating in silence.
The silence was broken by the Tramp who mumbled something. He was close to us but was looking at Aussie. I said, "Pardon?," so the tramp spoke again.
'You don't find God in big churches," he repeated. I looked at him in complete disbelief. I thought I was hearing wrong, so I just asked, 'What?'
This time he said it different. He said, 'You don't necessarily find God in big churches." Aussie laughed and exclaimed, "Where did this guy come from?!" I had been telling Aussie this for a month but he would not listen. Now it almost seemed, I'm sure to Aussie, like I had hired this guy to tell him. It was a funny moment.
"What makes you think that?" asked Aussie. The tramp answered, "I am a servant of God. I live on the streets and minister to the homeless and lost. I sometimes like to have a shower and stop in a motel, so I go to the big churches and ask for this little support and they discard me and send me away or call the police."
"That's because they don't know who you are," said Aussie. "They don't know you." His attitude was such in that he essentially was brushing off the tramp.
Next this tired old tramp seemed to burst with energy. He stood up and said, "I am Samuel." He took off his jacket and was wearing a T-shirt. On the front of it these words were printed: I AM. As he pointed to them, he continued: "This is the name of Jesus," he said.
Samuel could see that I accepted him and Aussie did not, so he looked at Aussie awaiting his response. I could tell that Aussie was a little agitated. He said, "Yeah mate, but that's no good; they don't know you are a minister."
"But I tell them," said Samuel with a smile as he glanced at me. I could see that Samuel was no ordinary man and he was inviting a question. I spoke softly and asked Samuel, "How do you tell them?"
"Yeah?" chimed in Aussie, "How do you tell them, mate?"
"I tell them the Word of God. Name a verse," he said.
"John 17: verse 9," said Aussie.
Samuel repeated it word for word. Aussie threw scripture after scripture at Samuel and it became clear that the entire Bible was in his head.
I was blown away. I just watched this tramp before my very eyes become a giant for God. Was he an angel, I began to wonder?
Aussie was not really impressed. He was polite, but indicated we should go, and he went to the bathroom.
As I stood with Samuel, the Lord spoke to me and said, 'Give him the money in your pocket." I always keep my cash in my left pocket. Okay, I thought I should give him some money for a motel or something. No -- the message was clear: 'Give him all the money in your pocket.'
I decided okay. I must say in that moment I was feeling proud of myself for hearing God. But my inflated ego was about to be shattered.
It was like I was doing some deal with God ... I am thinking ... okay - I have cards, receipts and bits of paper . . . so I cannot just hand him a bundle of stuff. I must remove the other things. I also had no idea how much money was in my pocket, but I was in obedience to God. I was giving all.
However, selfishness in my heart was having a coronary, as I removed the cards. In so doing, I was quickly counting to see how much I was giving.
In an instant God struck at the very heart of me and a very powerful voice filled me with the words, 'Why are you counting his money?'
God took the position of authority. He is my Father. I am his son and servant. All I have comes from Him. I was told to give the money. I was expected to obey, and how dare I count Samuels money!
Feeling like a small worm . . . I handed Samuel his money.
He graciously thanked me a started to leave. Aussie came back and went to refill his coke, and then we left.
Outside ... there was not a trace of Samuel.
Was Samuel an Angel? I am not sure. Did he teach me something? Yes, I am sure. This story is the truth, but it is not about Aussie, Samuel or Me.
Its about you and me and our relationship to God .
Because God cares about me, He will not pamper me. He will teach me that even when I am doing something good he needs to talk to me in my second language: Louder English!
Aussie never managed to build a big church. Are you trying to build a big church, big business, big house, big name?
This story has a message for you and the Bible has many. Find them and be as big as God wants you to be.
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