When one is a pastor one meets a vast array of interesting people. When I am eighty I want to write a book about the “Stray Dogs and Alley Cats”* who through the years attended my church. (I need to wait until I am eighty to make sure they are dead lest someone put two and two together.) One morning when we had over three thousand present someone whispered in my ear that the Zodiac killer had been in church. This was north of San Francisco. In a different part of the country (We moved a lot.) on many occasions I had a man come who had confessed to me of taking contracts for the mob. I could contrast this with an evangelist who told me his goal was to win so many souls for Jesus his crown would be the brightest in heaven. We once had a man who brought both his wife and girlfriend to church and sit with his arm around his girlfriend while she snuggled.
All of this brings me to Harley Allen’s song Stray Dogs and Alley Cats. Some of the lyrics go like this.
“To bad for heaven and to good for hell
Little wings are better than big tails
I don’t expect to sit at god’s right hand
I could empty heavens garbage cans
Hope there is room on those golden streets
For stray dogs and alley cats like me.”
I find myself thinking there is very little difference between killer and evangelist, except maybe, the killer knew he needed Jesus. I’m not sure the evangelist did. The good news is found in Hebrews 7:25, “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.”
*My thanks to Harley Allen.