Today was the toughest day, I began at 10 as usual and a local man stationed himself next to me and began to tell me all about how awful it is that people who aren’t from the UK end up begging here. He believed that the Romanians, often seen playing musical instruments in Belfast City Centre, had paid off City Hall so they would be allowed the run of the City. He also suggested that the accordion contained a tape recording and that the man couldn’t even really play the accordion. He was angry, very angry but this all stemmed from hearing that a local man who lived on the streets had been sent to jail for a week for begging. He insisted the man didn’t openly ask for money so he shouldn’t even have been accused of begging.
After this man wandered off a local church (Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle) set up a healing station and played Christian music whilst preaching. This is the first ‘direct competition’ I have faced. Passersby assumed I was with this Church and I became aware that those who accepted my tracts told the other people handing out literature that they already had one and in turn told me that they already had literature from someone else in my group. I explained I wasn’t with them and when one man asked who I represented I simply answered ‘someone else’. I swapped a tract with one of the Whitewell group which felt very odd.
Several people were outspoken about not want tracts and I felt strange to have their annoyance directed at me. One lady in particular was very annoyed at the tagline on my tract raising her voice saying ‘For Goodness Sake, Why do they always go on about Hell, I go to Chapel every Sunday, I felt bad not taking a tract but she deserves it!’ Another man asked ‘it that religious?’ I began to say ‘well if you read it’ . . . he interrupted saying ‘no’ he did not believe me, assuming I was trying to trick him into reading it anyway and pushed past. However it wasn’t those who were annoyed that unnerved me it was those who genuinely accepted the tracts with a ‘God Bless you’ or asked for a tract and seemed in genuine need. Are there really people who get comfort from reading tracts?
The majority of people rejected tracts today and the rejection is starting to feel personal, if this was my faith how would I feel? would it strengthen my conviction that these people need reached by God and see the delivery as my burden to bear or would the rejection slowly discourage me?
I will return to Cornmarket on Monday 10-12 I am aware that leaves tomorrow unattended but I feel that as its Remembrance Sunday and the shops would not be open yet that a true tract giver would not be there on a Sunday. These excuses for not fulfilling my Good Intentions to be there everyday will be available on the voicemail so call +447933999268 and feel free to leave a message!