The Art of Goofy-Stupid 101


The Art of Goofy-Stupid 101

By Susan Deborah Schiller

Part of my own Mini-Memoir

In my 50th year of life – you know, that time when you start to wonder if you have really achieved those childhood dreams and all the goals you had set out to accomplish – I began an adventure…

It became a journey of seeing ordinary people in a new light, of listening to their hearts, and of renewing my faith in the power of love at a time when the world seemed most dark and cold, void of real love. It was the beginning of a second time of losing everything and starting all over again.

In the early part of my adventure, I met a business man and missionary who called himself a "Bounty Hunter for the Lord". He liked to tell stories while flying, so several of our interviews took place in the clouds. One of the themes of his stories, "The Art of Goofy-Stupid," turned out to be one of the most unique healing events of my life.

As I listened to his life story, I traveled vicariously with him to the Philippines where he told me how he "got lit" by the fire of Love and how it all began with what he called "Goofy-Stupid".

With his permission, I share his first story – a time when he met an Asian pastor named Sumchai. Sumchai was a pastor of a growing congregation of over 2000 people scattered across the Philippines and into the countryside. His motorcycle allowed him to visit his people, which included several street ministries.

One day Sumchai ran into a man who had no vehicle and God said to him, "Give your motorcycle to this man." The stranger challenged Sumchai, "You are crazy! What kind of God do you serve that would want you to give your only source of transportation to someone like me? Your God is just as nuts as you!"

Sumchai shook his head and replied, "My God loves me and I love Him. That is enough for me."

A few days later God told another man to give his own pickup truck to Pastor Sumchai and Pastor Sumchai began driving it to visit his congregation. On his way, he stopped by the man who now owned his motorcycle and said, "You see, my God is not so crazy!"

What looks "crazy" to us seems "normal" to God, the Bounty Hunter said.

The Bounty Hunter had begun to write a book entitled, "The People in the Pew" because he believed the most powerful healing force had not yet been activated… the power of "ordinary" people in the pews! 

These ordinary people, as I listened to his stories, loved each other in the same ways children do. They accept each other, in all their flaws and failures, with good humor. 

The Bounty Hunter described how their love cracked open his own heart, through games like Musical Chairs. The adults and children were playful together, not segregated by age, and they went all out went it came to bringing on the pranks! He describes one of the church elders, picking her nose and wiping the pretend snot on his sleeve.

He had been an entertainer years before he took on multiple businesses and ministries, so these filippinos grabbed hold of his heart through what he loved most – good humor and fun.

The Bounty Hunter taught me that 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.

All the love talk sounds great as you're flying above fields and streams, but what does it look like… on a practical level?

This morning I chatted with one of the Bounty Hunter's neighbors, an elderly woman. Her dog just died yesterday and with moist eyes she smiled and shared her favorite things about this giant white-furry love-animal who used to claw her rug to shreds. She loved the dog so much she hardly minded the torn bits of carpeting.

The Bounty Hunter was a regular visitor at her house and after asking her son what his mom's favorite color was, he drove to town and purchased carpeting and laid it down for her. That's one of the Bounty Hunter's ways… he loves to be a blessing in tangible, practical ways.

I chatted with one of the Bounty Hunter's most loyal and hard-working park staff members, and she shared how, years ago, the Bounty Hunter had saved her life. Her eyes welled up with tears as she recalled the love and support the Bounty Hunter provided at a time in her life when no one else saw the inner pain. 

Then I began interviewing another loyal staff member and he shared more of the same… how the Bounty Hunter took him in when he was a stranger and had no home, gave him a job, and then made sure he had enough food. That's more than most people would do, but the Bounty Hunter went farther and became a father… he listened to the man's heart and offered godly counsel. And then the Bounty Hunter went even farther and kept checking on this man to be sure he was okay, day after day.

I began listening to more of the Bounty Hunter's employees… and I discovered an elderly man who was well past retirement but he loved to be of use. He told me if it weren't for the Bounty Hunter he would have nowhere else to work and nothing to do.

Can loving the person in front of us transform the world? The Bounty Hunter was not as concerned about reaching "the masses" as he was about reaching the person right in front of him.

Goofy-stupid 101 worked for Pastor Sumchai… and he passed it on to the Bounty Hunter… The Bounty Hunter passed it on to me… and I am passing it on to you.

With the Bounty Hunter's teaching fresh in my soul, I began sharing love with a suicidal person who worked at the hotel I was staying in. I simply listened to his stories and attempted to do goofy-stupid with him. It's now four years later, and this person still tells me how I saved his life and thanks to the Goofy-Stupid intervention. He says I brought Love and Light to his forsaken world.

I wouldn't say he's totally healed, but he's happy. And he spends his life doing the same… loving the person in front of him. People are telling him, "You should be a pastor!"

In fact, he is the mechanic who repaired my truck, and a few months after this episode he called me and shared a message from God's heart, that I published at "Be Happy". 

Dean Koontz, in "The Darkest Night of the Year," wrote: "We are rescued by those whom we have rescued. The saved become the saviors of their saviors."

Does goofy-stupid really work? All it takes is eyes to see what most people miss.

  • Time to sit and listen to an older person share about the loves of her life.
  • Ears to really hear… not just to listen so that you can jump in at the next pause and insert your own words.
  • A heart to love the most hurting… especially the hurting ones who appear to strong and all together on the outside…
  • A heart to go after the broken ones…
  • A heart willing to lay down your life, all you own, all you are, all you desire….

Jesus said this is the way to the abundant life he promised... if we lose our lives on purpose for His sake we get our lives returned to us in greater measure… but if we try to hoard our lives to ourselves we lose our souls, our identity.

With all my love,


PS  Is there someone you've met on the journey whose story has greatly impacted yours? Have you written it down yet? I hope this little part of my own mini-memoir helps to spark an idea for your book, because a large part of who we are can be summed up in the people we've met, the books we've read, and the lessons we've absorbed!

When we share our stories, we are sharing our souls. Authentic relationships are the currency of life.. it's in the stream of being real with ourselves, each other, and God that we find abundant life. This is the Great Adventure!

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 pre-order a free copy of Susan's upcoming book, "On the Way Home" by registering here.

Copyright 2014, Susan Schiller,  For reprint permission for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce Lagana April 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Jesus, come out and play! 🙂



Susan Schiller April 2, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Joyce, come out and play! I’m glad we can be goofy-stupid together – it sure is fun 🙂


denny hagel June 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Thank you for sharing the journey you have been on Susan, so much wisdom in this article, so much we all need to look at in ourselves and how we think about the people we meet everyday in our lives…in the line at the market, walking our dog down the street and sometimes even those that live next door that we've never even met. Love is the key. Being open and vulnerable and caring, all motivated by love. Blessings~


Susan McKenzie June 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

You are always so gracious and kind, Denny… I can only imagine the lives you are touching every day with your own candidness, gentility, and tender heart for families. If we can strengthen the family through this kind of love, then all of society is strengthened, one family at a time. And that will change the world like nothing else. I know many will find grace, wisdom, and love as they read through your articles at, as I have… you are so very encouraging!


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