More and more the Lord has enabled me to share embarrassing moments in my past when I left the ministry for a while. These are hard for me to share, as there is a part of me that is ashamed of the way I behaved. As I have shared, readers have written and told me that they too had stories in their past, and my article blessed them. The following is another such story.
Back in the late 1980s, I was lost. I had backslidden, I had a warped ego, and I was headed the wrong direction in life. Just a few years before, the Lord had tremendously blessed me financially in the oil business. I rewarded His love and mercy by rejecting him completely.
I had been an associate in some of America’s largest churches, and had started preaching the gospel at age 13. But here I was completely away from God. Even now I find it amazing, but it happened. I had just finished recording along with many “real celebrities” the song “Stop the Madness”, the first anti-drug song for the Reagan administration. I had an artist development with CBS records (which would be a flop), was receiving a fair amount of press, and as a result at the time I thought I was something special.
I was spending a lot of time in LA, doing small parts in TV shows and movies, being another wanna- be star. So now that you know the background, let me tell you the story. I had left LA, and I was back in Texas for a while, drilling some wells. But on this particular occasion, the local skating rink had invited me to perform for the local kids. I had this comical get-up I would wear when performing, a whip snake jacket(shown above), leather pants and color coordinated boots. It was an eighties thing, I guess. My hair as you see in the picture for this piece was a rat’s nest to say the least.
So after the performance, I decided to drive down to a friend’s bar and grill down at the lake. I was still wearing my outfit, as I thought then that it made some kind of a statement. What I realize now is, it made a statement alright, just not the one I thought it did. I had quite a few people at my table and was signing a few autographs when a young man dressed in a sharp suit, with his young son in hand came up to my table. I told him I would be with him in a moment.
After about a minute, I finally turned to him and asked if he wanted an autograph. He said, “No Pastor Darrell”. Pastor Darrell, wow I thought to myself, now that’s something I haven’t heard in a while. I told him that I was not a pastor anymore. He snidely indicated to me that was clear. A bit irritated I asked the young man if I knew him.
He said to me, “I guess you don’t remember me, but you led me to the Lord”. I indicated that I did not remember Him. He reminded me of the day of his salvation when I prayed with him at the back of the bus, after coming home from an out-of-town football game. I remembered the occasion then. He was a young man that was rebellious, in a little trouble now and then with school and parents. He had used drugs. I said to him,”Oh yes, I remember you now”.
At this point, I was quite uneasy, as the whole table had stopped talking and carrying on and was paying astute attention to my conversation with the young man. The man indicated that my relationship with him as a pastor had changed his life. He began telling me how that after I left 1st Assembly (I went to work for Tommy Barnett) God had turned his life around. He told me that as he had come from a broken home, I had been the first male figure in His life that had shown him any love. By this time, not only my table, but others beside us were paying attention.
As I now sit in total silence, he continued to tell me about his life after accepting the Lord. He indicated that he had finished college, had attended the FBI academy, and was now a FBI agent. He said that if not for the Lord, he would not be where he was. I told him I was proud of him and trying to change the subject, I said to him,”Oh I see you have a young boy with you. Is this your son? He says to me, as a matter of fact it is. He says that he has looked forward to introducing his son to me since the day he was born. He turns to his son and says to him,”Darrell I want you to meet Darrell”. I said” Excuse me”? He tells me that I had such an impact on his life that he named his son after me. He had prayed to the Lord to give him the opportunity to see me again so he could introduce me to his son, he knew I would be proud. He turn to me and says, “But sitting here looking at you, I am ashamed of naming him after you”. He turned and walked with his son out the door and left.
I sat there for a minute or two, attempting to gather myself. Unable to do so, I got up and walked out to the unoccupied patio. I was really shook up. It was the first time that I had felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit in quite some time. I was feeling ashamed. I went out to my car, and without returning to the table I went home.
I did not return back to Christ that night, but he planted a seed in my heart that would never go away. Coming back to Christ would come later. I write about it in (https://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com/category/stories-of-grace/)At Death’s door, Grandma Pulled me from the Gates of Hell, but this night was the beginning. The Holy Spirit has never let me forget that night, as He reminds me of it even now. I guess of all the compliments I have every received or things I have accomplished, having a man named his son after me, as the result of my sharing my Lord with him is at the top.
To this very day, when I pray, I ask the Lord to keep in me the humility that began to grow in me that night. I want to be the kind of man now that he saw in me then. I want to be the kind of man who would make him give me such a great honor. So let me say to you in the close of this piece, if you are going to share God’s love and reach out and touch people’s lives, make sure you life mirrors your testimony. You never know when someone is going to name their kid after you!