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This weekend I could not help thinking back to a time of basement rent parties. For a small fee, attendees could help the host with their upcoming rent, hear good music, eat some chicken wings and dance under a single blue light.

“You Dropped A Bomb On Me,” by the Gap Band was one of the hits during that time and when it came on, there was not a still body in the room.

Charlie Wilson hit the stage in Charlotte this weekend bringing much of his new music along with some Gap Band tunes that I remembered.

The best part of the show for me was when Charlie boldly shared his testimony. “Rags to Riches, Riches to Rags, homelessness to Riches, back to Rag’s and now Riches.” Following many years of alcohol and drug abuse, Charlie proclaimed in the middle of his show, “I’ve been clean for 17 years!” A praise dance broke out on the stage and I could not help but celebrate with him. Self- Proclaimed Uncle Charlie is experiencing a strong comeback substance free.

You never know where you will see the fruit of the Lord. It was great to hear some good music and to reminisce, but when I see God’s hand in a person’s life and they unashamedly share their testimony that is cause for celebration in and of itself.

Even though I enjoy the fellowship of worship in the church house, the real work of the Lord is in the streets. I couldn’t help wondering how many people sitting in the Bojangles Coliseum listening to Charlie’s testimony walked out thinking if he can, maybe I can too.

I love the Lord and if it were not for Him in my life I don’t know where I would be, but I also know that my testimony of my confused times can help somebody which is why transparency is mandatory in my life.

As believers we have to stop being so stuffy and realize that those that need our example are often outside the church walls. We have work to do, in the area of reinforcing self-esteem and acceptance. Titus 2:3 supports that we are to teach by example. Looking around at the coliseum we must get the message out. We have to reinforce that no longer do you have to hold your head down accepting anything put upon you. We can adorn ourselves in ways that are becoming and attractive without showing everything to the public. We can have a conversation free of filth. There is work to be done, and we need to get in position and stop shaking our head and whispering, but get involved at the grassroots with a message that there IS another way.

No, I didn’t see Charlie in the pulpit, rather on the stage, but his message through example was a powerful one. I agree Charlie; meet the people where they are.

Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.

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