By now, you've all met Danielle, a year 13-year-old meme star. For those of you still lost, here's a visual:
Now you got her? Here's a quick backstory if you don't: Danielle was on a recent episode of Dr. Phil's show. She speaks with a very thick accent that she claims is "from the streets." After calling the audience a name for laughing at her, Dr. Phil subtly called her out and the audience began to clap. She then proceeded to yell at the audience, "Cash me ousside, howbow dah?!?!" In English, she said "Catch me outside, how about that?!?!" meaning that she would beat them up after the show.
And then she became an internet sensation. She's been turned into a seemingly infinite number of memes. So, I decided to, pun definitely intended, cash in.
I work as the Ministry Assistant at my church, Britt David Baptist Church, in Columbus, GA. One of the things I do is create the sayings for and change the church sign. So, this week, I did this:
I wanted it to be seen because, lots of times, we drive right past church signs without even looking at them because they are, more than likely, saying something that we don't think pertains to us. I expected a few Oh-Alex-you're-so-cheesy's, with a courtesy laugh from a few people I know well and a lot of What-does-that-even-mean's.
But then, a few days after I put it up, it blew up. Someone alerted me to a specific account that had about 260 shares, which I thought it was really cool.
And then that number kept growing. And I started seeing it on Facebook from other accounts. And then I saw it on Instagram. And then even more on Twitter.
And now I've seen it on multiple meme accounts, such as World Star, we've been contacted by our local newspaper and news station, and, my favorite, it was on Buzzfeed. That's like the coup de grâce. I still can't even believe that one.
Most of the comments have been positive, but some have implied that we are asking for money because we accurately represented the way Danielle pronounced 'catch.' Others have implied that we are terrible Christians for making fun of the girl, when in reality, she has also embraced her newfound internet fame. If people don't like my sign, they can cash me ousside, howbow dah?
But the whole time I'm looking at all of these hundreds of thousands of shares, I'm thinking about how many people have seen my church sign and I wonder how many people I know are proud of me.
And then I realized that I didn't post it initially. I had nothing to do with it besides put it up on the marquee. Translation: No one knows I had anything to do with it. Even now, there is surely someone reading this doubting the validity of anything I'm saying.
But then, I also realize that it doesn't matter if anyone knows it was me, or not. The coolest part is that those thousands (maybe millions, who knows?!?!) of people have been shown that Christians are with the times and can have fun. Maybe it got some of them thinking that we aren't as much of a stick-in-the-mud as they thought we were. Who knows? Maybe this sign will get them into a church, and they can be exposed to God's gift of salvation.
So, at the end of the day, I'm grateful that I could be a vessel for the Lord and that I got a front row seat to seeing His work done. I may have gone viral, but I'm glad it's God's name attached.