Saturday, July 07, 2007

My One Legged Preacher Friend

We first met Bo Shedd about a dozen or so years ago when he came to Taylor County with the Bailey Smith Crusade as a 25 year old youth evangelist. I saw him one time since when he came to one of my speaking engagements in his hometown of Cullman Alabama.

Bo is quite a character and has an incredible story. With his sense of humor and outgoing personality he has no trouble relating to young folks. When he was a football star in high school in Alabama he was in an automobile accident and was almost killed. He lost his leg in that accident but he saw the light. And he has spent all of his years since spreading that light to anyone who will listen to him. And he is a gifted communicator.

All three of my boys think Bo Shedd hung the moon. After his first visit to Taylor County he came back several times to visit and would always stay at our house. On several of those visits he would pull his boat behind him. He took my boys fishing and sliding on muddy roads and most anything else they wanted to do. They never met an evangelist quite like Bo Shedd.

I vividly remember one week he was in the county doing a crusade and we had an auditorium full of folks. The appointed hour had come to start the meeting. Bo was nowhere to be found. Two of my boys were also missing. Somebody walked in the auditorium and told me they thought they saw Bo pulled over by the police in Reynolds. I called the police department and sure enough they had Bo pulled over in Reynolds 8 miles away for leaving rubber as he was pulling out of a parking lot of a convenience store. My boys were with him. I explained to the police that Bo was the evangelist in town for a youth crusade and I begged them to let him go. I told them I would come back with him the next day to deal with whatever charges they had against him. Thankfully they let him go and Bo came hurrying in the auditorium about 30 minutes late on his one leg and crutches.

And he preached that night as if nothing happened. And he had young teenagers eating out of his hand, taking in every single word. There is no doubt that Bo Shedd had a major impact on many teenagers those few times he came to Taylor County years ago. My boys were definitely impacted. And so were a lot of other kids.

Bo showed up at my house today. I haven’t seen him in a long time but he still has only one leg and he still moves freely on his crutches. Although a dozen years older now, he is just as outgoing and funny as the last time I saw him. And just as compassionate.

He drove from north Alabama to be here this weekend for the funeral of Kevin Poole. Kevin was among the many young people who were impacted by the ministry of Bo Shedd.

And Bo Shedd is one of the many people who have been impacted by the death of Kevin Poole. As a matter of fact, he drove six hours with his six year old little girl and stood in line for over an hour tonight on one leg at the visitation just to speak to Kevin’s mom and dad.

My one legged preacher friend’s sense of humor, determination and refusal to complain about the cards he has been dealt inspires and motivates the heck out of me.

And I hope reading just a little of his story inspires and motivates you as well.


EDWARD said...

As you know He will use you for what ever purpose HE has for you to Glorify HIS name.Even in tragic situations come good.

Anonymous said...

My name is Jennifer Kelly King. My brother, Chris Kelly, was one of Bo's friends in high school here in Haleyville. In December 2011, Chris lost his leg to diabetes. He spent a few weeks in the hospital in Decatur, AL. Bo went to see him while he was in the hospital. The light and hope he brought back to my brothers face is priceless. He is truly an Angel of God:-D