The Art of Goofy-Stupid


The Art of Goofy-Stupid

By Susan Deborah Schiller

"Do you want to go flying?" asked the Preacher.

The Preacher had been sitting in the bandstand, next to the pool I wrote about in, "The Fountain of Youth" at midnight, and he had been listening to me sing.

It was the next morning and I had just told him about the mechanic who was crying out to God in the parking lot. He told me he and the mechanic were becoming good friends and he would take care of him. In the meantime, the Preacher said God had given him a new order, and that was to provide a safe place for me. He told me that God wanted him to protect me, as a father caring for his daughter. 

Little did the Preacher realize it, but my dad used to be a pilot and his invitation to fly brought back all kinds of happy memories! In fact, I earned my student pilot's license at age 16 and I loved flying small aircraft! The way God was showing up in my life during my darkest hour was incredible! It felt like a giant hole in my heart was being filled! I just had no clue at the time, that there was another bend in the River and another undertow was about to take me under…

The Preacher took me flying, and began to teach me about Love, which was the only sermon material he ever used.

The Preacher taught me that Love is transformational and our only responsibility is to love…. not to love like most people do, but to love extravagantly…. the kind of love that goes out of your way to do something for someone.

I began attending the Preacher's outdoor church services at the bandstand next to the pool and I watched him as he welcomed Mormons, Native Americans, New Agers, and Baptists alike. Really, it didn't matter what "label" people carried, the Preacher made everyone feel welcome and never criticized other churches in town, as is common these days.

Little by little, the Preacher shared his story and his passion for loving people. Perhaps the greatest lesson of all he taught me was the COURAGE TO LAUGH in the grimmest of circumstances. He was the first of the "secret heroes" to see me after my husband told me he was sending me divorce papers. I was so shocked it was half a day before I could speak. My truck was broken and the Preacher took care of everything, but in the midst of it all, he just kept cracking jokes and acting incredibly goofy-stupid!

When all else fails, just get goofy-stupid, he said.

The Preacher's jokes forced my mind to come to attention, to release the trauma through laughter. He hugged me and told me repeatedly that it wasn't a coincidence that my truck had broken down on the road leading to his church (which was also an RV park/pool/cabins/hotel, etc).

He began to teach me and I transcribed some of his notes. This is what the Preacher said about how he came to "get lit" as he calls the fire in his spirit:



Every person is created with an emptiness that can only be filled with love. 

And I began to wonder, how much can a man really know God? How much can you be taught? Or does it have to be caught?

My brother Butch told me that if you read the Bible from beginning to end it will increase your faith by 20%. I figured that was a good return.

Most people when they read the Old Testament and they just quit. You get to Numbers and Leviticus and you just wear out. I tried it before and it didn’t work, so I started in the New Testament anyway. It took me about 2 ½ months to do that.

I got up early in the morning, read and prayed. I finished the New Testament and the picture I had buried in my heart was that all of these men in the New Testament were no different than me. But they had radical faith and would lay down their lives for what they believed. My first conclusion was, “This could really happen to me.”

I then started in the Old Testament and I made it through 5 books. In church I was filled with the presence of God. It didn’t go away and all I could do was cry, I was so full of joy. And Monday, same thing, all day.

I got up Tuesday to do my study and I remember very clearly thinking, "This is what happens to someone when they decide to be a preacher."

I was inspired to know God… and 14 years later it’s a transformation that has never left me. It’s and experience that becomes a lifestyle.

Most ministers know the Word, but have not received unconditional love… so they can’t give away what they don't have. Religion becomes a set of rules that you have to obey in order to be accepted. God doesn't like that.

God loves you MAXIMUM ALL THE TIME. His love doesn’t go up and down like a meter.

We can’t change ourselves. But religion teaches us that we could. If I change myself, I’m not leaving any room for God. And for most of those people, they are still empty, because you can’t do it yourself.

If there is a key thing in my life…. It’s to have a picture of Love with NO CONDITIONS. I want to radiate the passion, the heat, the fire of this LOVE!

I discovered on the mission field, among the Filipinos, the more childlike you are – the more goofy-stupid you are – the more alive this LOVE will come to you.

I saw it demonstrated through hugging people. If there was a way that I could hold you in my arms…. I don’t care what you’ve done… then once you could feel that love, and begin to get a hunger, God will give you that love abundantly.

So how do we teach people to be passionate? It's not a school. You just radiate by going out of your way to extravagantly love the person in front of you!

Love radiates from you. It’s contagious love. We were created to be filled with unconditional love…"

Can you feel the Preacher's passion? Today you can choose to warm someone up with your own story. Give someone a hug, tell a joke, invite them to fly with you… share what you have!

Let me know what you think, okay? Your story matters to me!

Choosing love today,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate her way out of hell to a rich and satisfying life. In her lifetime, Susan has served in duties ranging from home school mom – to pastor –  to full-time deliverance minister – and to Midwest regional prayer coordinator for a large international ministry. These days you can usually find Susan soaking in her favorite hot springs pool, reading a book (or several), blogging, baking bread, or hanging out with her family and friends. You can get a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2013, Susan Schiller, For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Stone July 31, 2012 at 10:48 pm

"If I change myself, I’m not leaving any room for God." Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!  Oh, this is SO true!!  What a great article about letting God be God and trusting Him through this life of ours… as easy or tough it may be.  He cares about it all and loves us on MAXIMUM ALL THE TIME!  Love it!!


Susan McKenzie August 1, 2012 at 5:15 am

I love the simple truths – they are the most powerful!


Ron July 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Very touching story Susan. I want to love that way. I struggle with it though. As much as I think I'm loving unconditionally, when I'm really honest there are always conditions I've placed on the other person that dictates how "unconditional" my own love for them will remain.
Your story makes me want to be better.


Jenny Shain July 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Love your VIVID stories! You have a gift for story telling!
Learning to laugh- now there's a powerful lesson!
Yes, let's love contagiously, with big enormous love!


Claudia Looi July 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Susan, absolutely love this statement: Love radiates from you. We were created to be filled with unconditional love…


Mary Marriner July 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Susan…..When Norvel Hayes was visiting our church, he told our pastor that "you would be amazed at how much God loves people".  That special, unconditional love.  God is so good…..even in the bad stuff!  Thanks!


Olga Hermans July 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Awesome statement: come and fly with me. That is what life is all about sometimes; we ask people to fly with us to higher heights where things are possible and we are able to see things from a different perspective. Your life-story is a beautiful story Susan!


Matthew Reed July 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

There is nothing like using what you have to make an impact on others. 
Paul talks about it to the people in Corinth when he says in 2 Corinthians that (paraphrase) he didn't come to them with superior knowledge or fancy stories…just the simple message of the Gospel.
I feel like we just use what we have, when and where we have it to bless others for God's glory!


Sharon O'Day July 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

"Every person is created with an emptiness that can only be filled with love."  So the persistent search for "something that's missing" … that we see people on, sometimes for their entire lives … is driven by the desire to fill the emptiness with unconditional love?  Tell us more, Sue.


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