A Highly Unlikely Convert

My brother-in-law is Glenn Draper, a businessman who serves Jesus and the type of guy who looks for open doors to share the Gospel with anyone willing to listen.

When it comes to sharing his faith, Glenn is as bold as any person on the planet. It is rare for him ever to pass up on an evangelistic opportunity. But one such occasion presented itself when he thought a young man was too far gone to accept Christ. Here is how he describes it:

It’s a vivid memory, and I still think about it regularly. In the Spring of 1989, a young college kid was throwing Frisbee at Vaughn Park in Montgomery, Alabama. He was wearing a purple sweater, had long hair, and was a drummer in a rock-n-roll band. After exchanging a few pleasantries, I looked for an opening to share Christ with this young man. 

We spoke for less than five minutes, and I hesitated in directing our conversation to spiritual matters. That’s the only time in my entire life when I thought sharing Christ with someone could not produce any fruit. I thought it best just to throw the Frisbee with him for a few more minutes, then move on.

Whenever Glenn shares that story, I think of a similar account recorded in the Old Testament—when God calls His servant Samuel to be on the lookout for the next King of Israel. Judging simply by appearance, Samuel keeps wondering which man he will anoint as the next leader of the Jews. Finally, the Lord says to Samuel, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1st Samuel 16:7)

Like Samuel, many of us are way too quick to judge a book by its cover, and that’s really not our place.

When Jesus called upon His followers to be fishers of men, He never explained what the fish should look like or what types of fish to pursue. Much like a deep-sea fishing trip, I took in the Gulf of Mexico several years ago. When we boarded the boat, the captain and deckhand had already set up everything for us to catch fish. Our job was simply to drop our lines in the water and wait to see which fish took the bait. We had no clue what kind of fish were on the other end of the line until they came to the surface.

In the same way, you and I are called to put lines in the water, not knowing what fish will bite or what they will look like. That is God’s business, not ours. We are simply called to be faithful and let the Lord do the rest.

“And Jesus said, ‘From now on you will be catching men.Luke 5:10

Returning to where we began, thankfully, Glenn did go ahead and share Christ with the young college kid throwing Frisbee at Vaughn Park in Montgomery. From all outward accounts and otherwise, he did seem like a highly unlikely convert. But come to find out, The Lord had been softening the hardness of his heart for months prior, and the time was ripe. As he recounts, it was first light on a Fall morning in 1991, in an upstairs bedroom at 723 Caplewood Drive in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when he surrendered his will to the authority of Christ. He has since credited his conversion directly to Glenn.

And by the way, that long-haired young man wearing a purple sweater, who was a drummer in a rock-n-roll band? His name is George. He is now a pastor, and you are currently reading a blog written by him. So remember, the next time your path intersects with a highly unlikely convert like me, be like Glenn: put your line in the water, see who bites, and let the Lord take it from there!