Tract 5 day 2
Today was a beautiful sunny day and on arriving at my Cornmarket spot I found two street performers. I positioned myself beside the tourist information map sign and held my sign with the new addition of maps on the back to aid my direction giving. It is so strange to be giving directions as my sense of direction is not wonderful but I think this really adds to the work. On the last day of distribution I was asked the way to a couple of shops which I was unsure of and I found myself asking “Does it have to be that shop?” and trying to direct them to a shop which sold the same things that I knew how to get to. The story on the tract talks about being offered directions you didn’t ask for and I am becoming aware you can only give directions within your knowledge base.
I had a couple of friendly conversations today, one with an older man who asked what I was doing. I explained I was offering directions if anyone was lost and he told me about supermarkets getting staff to carry “May I help you?” signs which he thought was a great idea. He shared that he was originally from Derry but considered himself a Belfast man. He asked where I lived and when I told him east Belfast he said his sister lives there but he prefers north Belfast.
Another man, around the same age as me asked the way to City Hall. At this point I began to suspect he was joking as he wasn’t far from there I turned my sign to the maps and began to direct him anyway. He looked really embarrassed and said he thought I was “taking the piss” he walked away but continued to say in a really loud voice ” I think you are lost, you are the most lost of any of us – If I blindfolded you and spun you round you’d end up in Japan” It seemed like he had wanted to make fun of me and realising I was offering directions didn’t really know what to say.
Another man passed by and said “stony heart” I looked confused and he repeated the term then asked what I was doing. I said offering direction and he apologised and wandered off. I am researching the biblical meaning of this term and came across this post http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0456.htm
A few tourists asked for directions to places to eat lunch and again several people joked that they were “lost but now found” on the way past.
It is very difficult to give away tracts and hold the sign but it is an interesting exploration as it changes the dynamic of the encounters I am having.
I will be in Cornmarket again tomorrow around 2 so if you are in Belfast keep an eye out for me.