What will you stand in line for? That was the question I asked myself when I saw the long line of people standing on the side of Hollywood High School.
I recall many years ago, I would stand in line to see a good movie, usually science fiction. For example, I stood in line at a movie theater in Westwood (near UCLA) to see the first Star Wars movie. Years later, after I became a Christian, I would stand in line to get into church. The ministry was Crenshaw Christian Center, pastored by Frederick Price. It was worth every minute. I believe the last time I stood in line (by choice) was when I got my first iPhone; an iPhone 3 back in 2008.
So when I saw the people standing in line at Hollywood High, I thought of several reasons they might be waiting. First, there was an evangelist come to town. His name is Arthur Blessitt. He has carried a 12′ cross around the world to 300+ nations and has walked 40,000+ miles. Would the people stand in line to hear him preach? Many did for this event called, Hallelujah Hollywood. Second, there was a food and big toy give away. I saw scores of bicycles and other colorful things to excite the children. I even contributed some paint kits to the collection. I can imagine that of the kids would stand in line in the heat or cold to get their hands on a bicycle.
While they stood in line waiting to go onto the football field where the festivities would happen, I stood across the street to capture the scene en plein air. My reward for standing came not from the food, toys or even the preaching. As I stood behind my easel painting the people and cars, I was joined by a young man and his father. The dad said that his son had brought him from Florida to visit. I told them how my daughter had recently paid for my wife and me to visit her in New York. Immediately, we saw we had things in common. Our meeting was not an accident.
As we continued to talk, I learned that they both would be baptized the following day. The young man, who was a professional dancer, and his father had just given their lives to Christ. We had a wonderful time talking about the arts, show business and more, but especially about Jesus.