Samuel Gray Art


Behind the scenes process of my work, recaps of my live painting shows, and stories that I find valuable


I met Billy at Lifesource a few years ago. Lifesource allows South Church to meet on Sunday evenings around 5pm. Food is served, worship music is played, and Jon Baker talks to whoever wants to listen. Out of all the people I have met there, no one has been like Billy. One day I find him in the back of the room and the worship team is playing a song and he is dancing and laughing and praising Jesus about every 10 seconds. Obviously I wonder why he is so happy. I mean, Jesus makes me happy, but not the kind of happy that makes me jump up and down and raise my hands all the time. I introduced myself to him and we quickly connected and he seemed to appreciate me listening to him some.


At first I would say I was more interested in his crazy personality than trying to connect to him on a personal level. Something I have learned spending time at South Church is how I view the "cast" system of our society. I thought that for me to be able to connect to someone that is poor, I would have to lower myself or step out of my comfort zone. For most of my life I have been more of an introvert. Coming into contact with someone like Billy has really helped me see how easy it is to share love to others. I remember taking him to Walmart one day and we are in the self checkout isle. He immediately turns around and boldly states to the woman next to him, "You are beautiful and don't let anyone tell you different!" I was pretty uncomfortable when he did that and I'm sure she was too. But I'm also sure that she might remember that someone told her she was beautiful for a long time. Billy shared with me that he had struggled with Meth addiction and was bi-polar. After I spent some time with him I one day said, "Billy, I think we are going to be spending a lot more time together soon." This was before I invited him to stay in my home for two weeks. For some reason I trusted him and he gave that trust right back at me. It's that weird feeling you get when you can look into someones eyes and they know you want what's best for them. Billy saw that and he saw God providing for him by bringing him into our home for two weeks. Every day he would wake up from the couch and be reading and reciting the word from his etched up Bible. I began to notice that even if he had some mental problems, I would say 90% of the things he would talk about all day was truth from scripture.

I didn't want to tell him to be quiet because of that. Another thing Billy would be free to do was to pray in the spirit. I hadn't really experienced the amount of charismatic prayer before. I grew up being anointed by oil when I was sick and my parents sometimes prayed in tongues. The way Billy prayed, crazy or not, he seemed to fully believe that he was talking directly to God and that he was worshiping. Now I know that here is this man, who is a drug attic with mental problems, and I am beginning ask if he is the crazy one or if I am? I believe that God put Billy in our home for two weeks because of the love that he gave and the way he worshiped. God demands our love and our worship. Billy did that, crazy or not.