I arrived at my usual spot (which has now become the drain cover outside GAP on Royal Avenue) at around 12.30 today, set my timer and got to work. The free bible giver was there again today and I noticed several people stop to talk with him. I had a couple of people stop and talk to me also. One man stopped to say he had read the tract yesterday and he thought it was really good, another passed by twice, the second time he stopped to say he really enjoyed the tract and that he was going to try baking for strangers so I would love to know if he does and how it goes. This aspect of the work that I put the tracts out there but get little feedback or shared experience beyond handing the tract over is something I would like to work on.
The longest interaction of today was a couple of men, possibly father and son? the elder of the two stopped to ask what I was giving out, the younger answered for me saying it was about Jesus right? I explained that is wasn’t that the project is about reclaiming values often attributed to Christians that I feel belong to everyone, for example, compassion, empathy or kindness. The younger man then said it was like humanism, I would not label myself as a humanist so this is a new area which I need to research more deeply to allow myself to coherently explain the differences. I did explain I am an atheist to which he responded that he was neither a Christian nor an atheist, the older man said “yes you are a . . .” the younger man simply said ” do not tell me what I am” at this he walked off across the street. This left me with the older man and he began to share his belief in guardian angels. I was a little surprised by this but I kept this to myself in the hope he would share more. He explained he used to have a Mitsubishi Shogun and had been driving in Donegal with the radio at full volume and the heat up full blast. It had begun to snow, soon turning to a blizzard. With all the noise in the car he didn’t hear the change when the wheels left the road and began to plough through a snow drift. He hit black ice and as the car began to spin he spoke to his guardian angel saying “you are driving now” as he lost total control. The car ended up crashing into a privet hedge and once he had come to a full stop he realised that the hedge was only a small part of a wider barrier. To the left and right of where his car had ended up was stone wall for miles in both directions. He believes “this was not just a coincidence”.
I gave away around 60 tracts so I may head out again tomorrow. If you are in Belfast keep an eye out for me!