I first met Chris when he was the lead singer of Scarecrow and Tinman. It was brief and, like all things involving Chris, unforgettable. The band was playing in Rome for World Youth Day. He was wearing a bright sliver outfit, and I wondered how one man could scream so much without losing his voice. It was an introduction and a handshake, and then he went back on stage and I left to find lost teens that I had brought.
Our second meeting was at Steubenville West in 2001. I was the host of the conference and Scarecrow and Tinman was the entertainment. Chris had just come into the Catholic Church. I don’t remember spending much time with him (I think I hung out more with the guitarist). I remember thinking he had a great stage presence, but was a little crazy (in a good way).
My friendship (brotherhood is a better word) with Chris really began when I moved to Steubenville in 2004. He had moved here a few years earlier. The band hadn’t worked out and he was active in a speaking ministry as well as teaching some adjunct classes for Franciscan. We even tried to hit the road together (Decaf)… but that didn’t work out so well. However, it did create “Handmotions in Heaven”, which is destined to be our lasting gift to the Church.
What many don’t know is that we also had a song that immediately followed Handmotions in Heaven called, “Chris and Bob go to Purgatory”, which also features Righteous B. Give it a listen, I guarantee it will be the dumbest thing you here today.
A couple of years ago, the Padgetts decided that city life wasn’t for them and so they moved out to the country in the Syracuse area. I know there are some crazy “homesteading” videos out there that he is in. But of course, everything that Chris does has a little crazy in it.
Yesterday I got a text message from Chris that they needed to replace a valve in his heart but there is some concern (as if heart valve replacement isn’t concerning enough) because there was an infection in it. I was just at an event with Chris two weeks ago and could not believe what I was hearing.
Chris and his family need our help. There are three things we all can do, and like good Catholics they come down to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
PRAYER: Those of you who know Chris are aware that he has a beautiful devotion to Our Lady. In fact, I think he gives the best, most simple explanation for why loving Mary is so important: “If she is good enough for Jesus, she is good enough for me.” Would you, right now, say a decade of the Rosary for Chris and his family? Throw a “Come, Holy Spirit” at the end. I know that would be a huge help.
FASTING: Give up something today for the Padgett family. Fasting is a powerful prayer and lets us, in a small way, participate in the suffering of others. The Padgett family is suffering right now, and by fasting we can join them and let them know our love.
ALMSGIVING: Folks like Chris who spend their life on the road preaching the Gospel to others take a lot of risks. One of those risks is regular employment, good health benefits, etc. June and July are the busiest and most financial rewarding time of the year for Chris, something he budgets and needs for his family to keep paying the bills. Not only will this surgery max out all of his deductibles, he won’t be able to work for the next couple of months (at least). My friend Bob Perron (who some of you know as “Stooge for Christ”) has set up a Go Fund Me page and is trying to raise $25,000 so he and his family don’t need to worry about al the income he is losing and all the money they need to spend to help him get better. Personally, I hope we can raise twice that amount. Please CLICK HERE and be as generous as you can.