That’s how the man at the corner of Cavanaugh and Cedar Lansing wants to be known.
It’s 7:40 a.m. Thursday. The sun is barely breaking through the foggy September air. The roads are thick with rushing cars.
“Believe” is already hard at work.
He’s a muscular, stocky man, resembling an elder version of LL Cool J, sporting red and black Nike gear (no Kangol).
His right hand bears the tool of his trade – a 3-foot-long staff draped with strips of red fabric. He spins it sometimes like a baton. He wields it more often like a scepter.
At his foot on the sidewalk is a weathered copy “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.”
What is he doing out there?
“The only thing you need to know is right there,” he says pointing to a folded copy of The Watchtower magazine he thrust into my hand.
The second page, top right corner, has a lime green stickie note, a red arrow slicing across it, riddled with Bible citations.
“Job 38: 22-28”
“Jeremiah 16: 19-21”
The article on the page is headlined:
“Will man ruin the earth beyond repair?”
“Follow the arrow,” he says gleaming a smile with his squinting eyes.
He turns to face traffic, drops to one knee and strikes a majestic pose raising his scepter toward the sky.
What’s with the red stick?
“Blood of the lamb,” he says, his back still to me. “Red gets the attention. It’s the color of the human race’s blood.
“The devil divided the human race. You don’t have to use my words, the arrow will tell the words that need to be heard.”
He says Jehovah will bring us back together.
He says he’s been working street corners in south Lansing for about four or five years. He goes to corners on Cedar, Jolly, Holmes and Martin Luther King.
This morning he’s in front of a smoke shop and across the street from a Dollar Store. He gets several honks and waves.
Why those streets?
It’s by design, he says. One he didn’t draw, just one he’s supposed to follow.
“It’s designed to draw people who are curious about the spirit,” he says.
“The spirit will draw them. Each of these individuals are fish,” he says waving his arm at the traffic of cars.
“I’m a lure. The hook is the question.” “I’m just a man, just an imperfect man,” he continues. “That’s why I don’t want my name out. I just want you to believe.
“We let everyone tell us what to do, what to think, what to believe,” he said. “It’s time for us to follow the arrow and find true belief.”
Does he know he resembles LL Cool J?
No, he says he’s never been told that.
“Maybe we could be brothers,” he says.
“Aren’t we all brothers?” I ask.
“Now there you go! The arrow! Right there! You just made my day!”