Feb 26, 2010

candy from strangers

I have spent some time in recent days handing out flyers and candy on behalf of a certain collection of Christian groups on campus.

People's reactions intrigue me. Perhaps I should be studying psychology:

There are many keen for free candy from a stranger. Some are 'keen' to be polite, but others are, it seems, actually keen. I imagine I can pick some from private schools by their clothes, expressions and the fact they are too good for heart shaped lollipops (and/or religion) - but I'm quite likely wrong.

There are some folk who lower their eyes and scoot past, in the hope of not being accosted by a Christian; or maybe just potentially talked at for 1/2 a second by a fellow human being; apparently a dreadfully scary or probably-painful experience.

Some expect a 'catch', beyond being expected to take literature (flyers; info on the groups, hardly gospel tracts)

Some Christians aren't interested at all. I can sympathise, though I don't really get it any more.

Many politely reject, for whatever reason, smiling at our attempt to benefit them.

Many are confused at the number of keen Christian groups on campus and/or say things along the lines of 'oh, these are Christians.' Nah duh. Though I guess we could be a little more clear, like have large flashing neon crosses, Brian Tamaki on a loudspeaker etcetera...

A few are openly not interested, saying things which strike me as simply immature like "not a chance" or "definitely not", whilst striding past in their superiority. I almost find these people amusing, but really it's a bit sad, as if they did actually dare to pause, their confidence might be deflated a little. People in my group have heard exactly what you've heard and they're still more impressed by God. Oh and their grades are often better, in case you wondered.

Many are similarly not interested (a couple of science lecturers I noted) and just stride past wordlessly; they are on important errands and are well aware of the wiles of the religious. "Your candy embarasses me; I shall ignore it, or if it's in my face, wave it aside."

People who know me and are a little more interested than usual in avoiding me. Such people entertain me slightly; as if I, the introvert, would accost them in any individualised way anyway.

The Christians interested in the groups - often so hesitant; with you I empathise - it is a dangerous world out there, with all kinds of dodgy religious groups and places you won't fit in. The groups I am promoting don't fit into these categories, but how are you to be sure?

Intense non-believers who really want to know now what this group is about and what we would offer them. Rare but fascinating. Should I give you the gospel in 1 minute? Please let me know somehow.

Friends and acquaintances who aren't too ashamed to walk up and say "hi" - you people have guts! Don't you know that Christians are irrational, freaky and extremely dangerous when they gather together?

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