Thursday, January 9, 2014

Journal Entry: Sputter and Fizzle

Friday, December 27, 2013

A man traveling with two other people waited alone in the restaurant while they went to the bathroom. He stood with his hand in his pockets behind the farthest band of the extendable tape and said, ask me any question you’ve always wanted to know the answer to. He seemed to be addressing both me and [Joe], who were both engaged in cleaning—me, trays; he, odd items and surfaces. I asked him to tell me how many minutes it would be before they would order. He kept trying to ask the question. He then said something like, what is your view/have you heard of the God question? I heard that as, “The God Question,” and endeavored to inject jocularity as I sometimes do in situations where people are being awkwardly confrontational, in order to distract them off their track, so I said that I thought he was talking about a book. He made some unclear statements to the tune of it being an important subject, this could be your only opportunity, are you sure that/what’s your choice?, both before and after I said that I wasn’t authorized to talk about subjects that could potentially offend people while in my capacity as an employee. He said that he was impossible to offend. He sorta just waited around while I was mostly silent thereafter, Joe looked at me confusedly, and the man made a few weak attempts at speaking, as I just mentioned. When [the manager] came to swap out my drawer and put Joe on, he left with the people who were with him. I think I know what he was doing. He seemed to be trying to start a witnessing encounter. He had what he thought was a decent “hook,” and he felt comfortable since the dining room was empty and he in all likelihood was simply passing through, so he felt bolder—not yet quite in his element, however, since his body language, distance from his addressees and fumbling obscurity were an obstacle to getting to the point. His engagement hinged on getting people to be both curious and ask and answer questions with him, but he seemed to not have counted on what he would do if that didn’t happen, or people didn’t engage. He didn’t have a plan B, and he left without leaving a clear Gospel presentation. Suppose he is saved—he just needs to refine his methods and aspire to be less mysterious and more direct with his introduction—and be prepared to make a point even when his hearers are unwilling to talk back. People at work or in a line are a great captive audience; he should expect to talk without them talking at all. Suppose he isn’t saved—it’s fantastic that he left discouraged and I hope he comes to the Truth. Personally, I’m suspicious that the former is true.

~ Rak Chazak 

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