Jack lived on the streets, homeless, for over 20 years. He was certified insane in three states. He traveled all over the Southeast — Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Texas.
Jack grew up not wanted by his parents. His father died when he was four and his mother remarried to a very brutal, violent man. Jack’s step-father beat young Jack often, filling him with fear and anger. He quickly learned how to hate completely.
When Jack was 15, he was introduced to beer. He fell in love with the way it made him feel – strong and invincible. So young Jack placed his hope in alcohol. He couldn’t keep a job because of his drinking. He was finally committed to a mental hospital where he was introduced to drugs. He grew depressed and psychotic, so he began mixing alcohol with drugs.
Although Jack believed in God, he hated Him because Jack thought God intentionally made him the way he was. He hated everyone and everything. In Jack’s mind, he was convinced that God didn’t love him.
He was penniless, living on the streets, eating out of garbage cans, and in and out of jail for years. Some considered Jack a hopeless drunk. Then someone crossed his path and introduced him to Jesus. This older man took Jack under his wing and exhibited love and care and Jack soon learned just how much he was loved. He stood on the promise of 1 Samuel 10 – “You’re going to be changed into another man.”
As Jack’s faith grew, he got off the streets, started working consistently, stopped drinking, and started ministering to others. He met a wonderful woman, married, and they continued ministering to anyone who would listen about God and His love for us. Jack Hollingsworth and his wife preached and ministered nationwide until his death in 2017.
Now let me switch gears.
I recently started a new Bible study entitled “The Quest” (an excursion toward intimacy with God). Throughout scripture there are five questions God asks His people: (1) Where are you; (2) Who told you that; (3) What are you seeking; (4) Why are you afraid; and (5) How much more …
As I read Jack’s story I saw where Jack (1) didn’t know where he was, (2) was listening to the wrong people, (3) sought love and acceptance, (4) didn’t know anything but fear, and (5) didn’t understand how much more God can love him. You may know someone who needs to hear these questions. There have been many points in my life where I needed to hear them or be reminded of them. These are questions that demand an answer.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”