I am noticing a trend as I go for my walks in the Fishtrap Creek Park. There are a number of men, who usually go in two's, who corner walkers and get into discussions with them about faith issues. I hear snippets of conversation as I pass by them, and I see their tracts (Jehovah Witness Watch Tower magazines?) or their Bibles in their hands. So far, every time I have seen them, they have been too busy with someone else to pursue me. I am not afraid of them, nor afraid to get into a discussion with anyone about anything, I just wonder if it is appropriate. If I am on a one hour agenda to get my walk in and then get on with my day, I may have to appear to be rude to them and walk quickly away.
And then there is Monday morning. I was sitting under a small Gazebo at the north end of the lake, waiting for a small rain shower to pass, when I saw an elderly gentleman gingerly approaching my position. I have noticed that there is a courtesy with this particular spot, that when it is occupied, one just walks on by so as not to disturb the privacy and tranquility of that resting spot. He began with small talk and being a courteous person, I answered in kind. Soon he was sharing his faith with me, telling me of miraculous healings in his own body, his wife's healing from osteoarthritis, and his son's healing from sever mental retardation. As he is telling me this, he sets a New Testament down beside me on the bench. When he is done, I tell him that I too am believer and that I am thrilled to hear how God has gifted his family with healing. We had a short conversation about false teaching in the church, and then he quickly concluded the interaction, as if he was wasting his time with me. He bent down, picked up the testament, and was on his way.
He was a nice enough fellow, but I wonder how he is being received by others in the park who are just there for a pleasant walk. Maybe I am not missionary minded enough.