(To read Part 1 click here!)
At the Hollywood and Vine station we were ready to hit the streets with the Gospel, unaware of what awaited us on the cold, forbidding, streets of fools gold that is Tinseltown. Armed for battle with our Million-dollar bill Gospel tracts…
…we traversed the stairwell that led to Hollywood Blvd.
We split up; one group took the south side of the Boulevard, my group took the north as we rushed down to Highland Ave. where the red carpet was located. Tony Alamo Ministry zombie-disciples hobbled up and down the street trying to distract us from our mission, holding sheaves of newsletters filled with prophetic doom. We ignored them; there was precious little time to dawdle because the Show started at 5:00—and it was already 3:30.
We came upon concrete barriers that slowed westward traffic towards the theatre, allowing the D-listers to proceed. These were the friends-of friends-of friends who had seats in the nosebleed section of the Kodak Theatre. Gawkers looked on from the sidewalk hoping to see some star of a Gatorade commercial, or a bombshell extra from a slasher flick as the police checked under the chauffer-less autos for weapons, bombs and hidden paparazzi.
I tried to “bribe” some of the police with my Millions, but unfortunately, there were no takers.
There were other workers for Christ in the Hollywood vineyard, too. A man stood at the barricades with a large sign warning drivers that Hell was imminent if they didn’t repent. “I stand here because traffic is slow and they have to read the sign,” he said.
Mr. Bling-Bling snapped off catchy Christ-centered rap songs to all who would listen.
It was a real dog and pony show up and down the Boulevard… this guy just forgot to bring his pony.
Then we hit up with an edgy film crew who asked what we were doing. I gave him a Gospel tract million and asked the interviewer where he would go when he died, Heaven or Hell? Mockingly, he answered Heaven.
I then asked if he thought that he was a good person and if he had kept the 10 Commandments. Of course, he answered “Yes,” and “No,” respectively. What could I do? Here I was in front of a camera, not knowing how many people might be watching… so I took him through the Commandments—and right there on National, or local, or cable, or home movie T.V.—everyone got to hear how Mr. Interviewer was a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer-at-heart and would be found guilty on Judgment Day and end up in Hell.
Believe it or not, he was concerned about this disconcerting bit of information, so I had the privilege of telling him—and that National, local, cable, or home movie T.V. audience about the Savior who died for all their sins!
The crowd was starting to thicken as we inched closer to our target. Look! Off in the distance! The requisite Bush protestor! Just as the Jesus people are everywhere, so are the anti-government protesters. I contributed a million to this lady’s campaign..
Oh no! Disappointment! The sidewalk was cordoned off. But wait—we were still a block away from the the red carpet! The people were penned in, and herded together in a little crowd of about 100 people. What a bummer! I needed to get closer to the action. Wait! Look! A four foot high concrete barrier to my right! I know what I can do… People were standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the barrier trying to catch a glimpse of… nothing. I climbed atop the barrier and said “Excuse me, excuse me,” while gently forcing myself between the glimpsers on the barrier. I asked a stranger if he wouldn’t mind holding a “Giant Hundred Dollar Bill.” He agreed and I took advantage of the opportunity by doing a little preaching!
On the other side of the street, team member Braddock Whipple was talking to a man who was accusing all of the street-preachers as being money-grubbing hypocrites. “Id just like to see a preacher stand up and preach for free!” he huffed. Just as he was saying that, Braddock pointed across the street to me. “See that guy? He’s not getting paid for any of this,” Braddock gently assured the man. The man promptly shut his mouth.
After I finished my Hollywood sermon, a few people clapped. No one got angry. Everything was fine until I started my second sermon in the same place. Some anti-Gore/pro-global warming people didn’t cotton to what I was doing and started singing a little ditty, trying to drown out my Gospel presentation…
This is what they sang: “Bush is insane, he’s high on cocaine!” over and over again. It didn’t bother me too much, I just preached louder from my four-foot stage.
I was a bit bummed, though… my shoulder-to-shoulder barrier-mates disappeared altogether when I began my sermonating… Go figure!
My voice was a little hoarse after two open air sermons, trying to speak above the din of traffic, people, and anti-Gore protestors singing in perfect harmony, so I stepped down from my perch. That’s when I saw Elvis!
I was ready to engage the King in a conversation about the King of Kings, until I noticed he had his Bible with him. He was doing the Lord’s work, too.
All shook up because I wanted to get closer to the red carpet action just down the block but couldn’t, I then had a brilliant idea: go around the block! The team and I left the area to investigate around the corner, hoping to get within shouting distance of where the stars got out of their ozone-killing limos. As we walked up the street, the second shift walked down the street, ready to continue where we left off.
These Jesus people were everywhere! Only in America! But these two guys weren’t from America, they were from Liberia. In fact, this is J.K. Conto, the future President of Liberia in 2012.
Who was I to argue?
Then another film crew—from Denmark—filmed as I read the Gospel message printed on the back of the million-dollar bill.
I hope nothing gets lost in the translation back home!
Then a shady snake handler…
We rounded the corner, and saw an even larger crowd on Highland Avenue. People were lined up all the way down the street. We had to get closer, we had to get closer… we had to squeeeeze our way down the block. “Excuse me, uh, excuse me…”
We made it to the corner!
And what happened next, you absolutely will not believe!
(To read Part 3, Click here!)