Thursday, July 19, 2007

Downtown Crossing Apostles

If you’ve spent any amount of time at Downtown Crossing this summer, you’ve seen the guys—I haven’t seen any women—with the easels, paintbrushes, and the charming, entertaining patter. They start off by inquiring if their audience members are as smart as a fifth grader—a funny, engaging little hook. Then they do a sleight of hand with some numbers, sketching out answers with glib brushstrokes. All a bit of Faneuil Hall busking, it seems. A co-worker clued me in, though, that they are really Christians out to save souls, so I’ve always given them a wide circuit. Today, though, I listened. I feel that you have to listen to the right as much as the left, the Christian equally as the atheist.

But while I was standing there taking in their pitch, and sorry, it’s same old song and dance about redemption, a man standing next to me asked me what I thought of the presentation. Not to be fooled, I asked him what he thought of it. He said he thought it was interesting. “Are you connected to it?" I asked him, figuring he was a plant in the audience and I was correct. He asked me a number of questions, and I was willing to engage him, including telling him I have no idea what would happen to me if I died today.

I think anyone who reduces this life or the Creator to a simple question of right or wrong, who believes the world was built in seven days is denying the Creator’s greatness. To reduce the universe to terms that a common person can understand is reducing creation’s beauty. There is nothing wrong with saying, “We don’t understand.” Sometimes ours is just to marvel.

I try to be the very best person I can be. I think the truth is that everyone is trying the very best they can, some doing better than others. The truth is, I’m only human, something I’ve tried to explain to certain special people over the course of my life with greater or lesser success. I have flaws—lots of flaws—along with some good points. Every day I try to do something good for myself, for someone else, and for the world at large. It’s not easy. Sometimes I can do all three; sometimes not. Blogging, if you can believe it, is my way of giving back to the world. To share my experience of this reality we call life to others so maybe someone might not feel so alone. But the upshot is my redemption and spirituality is none of his or anyone else’s business, that it’s between me and my Maker, whoever or whatever that might be. To think otherwise is terribly presumptuous of these people.

1 comment:

Rene said...

I do not usually read blogs.. not really my style and I hate reading on the computer. I would rather feel a book while I read. I do occaisionally check out other blogs though and I have to tell you that your post is wonderful. You and I think very similarly and it is refreshing to find that in another human! Not sure what that says about us though. It was a pleasure to check out your blog. I hope you will check out mine... and maybe we can exchange ideas occaisionally. Rene

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