Saturday, September 1, 2007

Method to the Madness

I have a practice of preaching on the trains when the Cardinals fans are leaving the game, shuttling between several train stations, getting off at one and going back the other direction. Well, Rams fans are not the same kind of crowd, so engaging them is a bit more difficult with the GPT. Last year, I handed out tracts at two or three games' end, but I did not yet preach (I didn't know how).

With the last preseason game being played this past Thursday, I tried to use the GPT on the train, and it was a big struggle. I disembarked at the Forest Park Station, which is the dividing line for the two lines in St Louis, and waited for more Rams' fans. I preached the Gospel to many people there. In fact, there were people listening to whom I was not preaching. How do I know?

When a group started to get on the Shrewsbury line (my train home), I called them back, telling them that it was the Shrewsbury, not the Lambert Airport, which is the line that they needed. A public safety officer (to whom I witnessed when he was a St Louis County cop riding the train) asked me which train I needed. As I told him Shrewsbury, that train departed. He was not happy. "Come over to my office."

There he expressed his high displeasure with the fact that I was "standing around" and with the fact that I was preaching so loudly and all these people were looking (I was merely trying to be heard by the people to whom I was speaking, but, hey, I'm not ashamed!). "If this is all you're here to do, then you're out of here!" he said, pointing furiously to the top of the stairs above the platform. "I want you on the next Shrewsbury train." I promised to leave at that time.

In the meantime, several people got off the two Lambert trains that passed by. Of course, with nothing to do but wait, I gave some of them the Good Person Test. Haha, and the PSO was down the platform a bit, so he didn't get a chance to complain!

I rode the train to the end of the line (beyond my stop), and rode back, all the way to Illinois. I got to talk to a young Catholic named Jonathan, a furious Muslim-leaning kid named David, and a couple of scantily-clad young women (one of whom I have witnessed to before, but she obviously has yet to repent). As I looked up at the clock at the Emerson Park Station, I noticed that I would not be riding Metrolink all the way home--it was near the end of service for the night, and the next train only went as far as Union station. While on the platform, I talked to Ramon (not Hispanic in the least), and he was very receptive. Then I boarded the last train out of Illinois, pondering how to find a cab to Maplewood.

On the train, I talked to a guy named Juan (or Wahn, or however he told me to spell it). I gave the GPT to him and a woman who appeared to be his gf, but he had to go before I could finish. He thanked me and gave me his cell to call him later to "finish this conversation." (I did follow up with him Friday night; he apparently is a Christian, but he needs to grow.)

Then, at the Civic Center Station, I disembarked in order to see if there was a Manchester bus going back out, but there wasn't. So I looked to the cab stand, and there were no cabs. So I went to walk the four blocks to Union Station. Part way there, I met a couple who was stranded. I told them the best way I knew to get a cab (which was the wrong way), and I gave the guy the GPT. He listened, but I don't know what he thought. Please pray for them, I don't know their names.

When I did call myself a cab (there is a company that I always use because they were good to me when I worked at Steak'n'Shake a few years ago, and I did tell the couple about them. I didn't know about the cab stand at Union station on Market Street, which was the better option than merely calling them.), I got to witness to the driver. He wasn't very receptive (relativistic kind of guy), but I told him that I hope to see him in Heaven some day.

Update on my job: I am working (as a temp) for a plastic bottle manufacturer, in their shipping office. My supervisor is a Christian minister, my primary coworker is a self-described "conservative libertarian" whose husband's parents are Christians, but neither of them are, the guy who sits behind me (the logistics contractor) is an agnostic, and the man who appears to be the business consultant is a Mormon who doesn't talk about any personal things on the job (except to express outrage at Michael Vick, when scores of other NFL players have done far worse and easily gotten away with murder [remember Leonard Little, who is still playing?]).

My supervisor asked me not to evangelize except on break and lunch as a preemptive move to prevent complaints, with which request I will comply. But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to look funny at Kevin (the logistics guy) when he says, "Jesus Christ!" I said to him once, "For an agnostic, you sure call on Jesus an awful lot!" He opened up to tell me some of his background, but didn't open to hear the Gospel. "He's got a list of reasons not to believe/Like doubt, disillusion, and hypocrisy/It's gonna take some 'living proof' to break through these wall/So [my witness has] got to be tru if he'll believe it at all!" So please be praying for all of them.

Also, riding the bus to work has allowed me to reach even more people. A conversation on the bus does not go ignored. Many people can be engaged at once, even though you are only conversing with one. Folks, if you have it, use that public transportation!

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