It becomes a bit challenging to continue to be open to listening and open to talking to people in general, when some of them are just trying to trick you, fool you.
When you live in a very active, busy, tourist filled city, you get used to answering questions from random people. Usually they ask for directions. I’m always glad to help. But recently, I have been targeted several times by Christian recruiters, or at least that is what they end up appearing to be.
Example one. I’m on the train, during a Halloween night, and a woman sitting next to me starts up a conversation about the costumes, and how she used to go to the parade and how much fun it was. We were having a nice conversation, just two strangers on the train talking about fun times. We got off at the same stop, then she dropped the bomb. She gives me a card with information about a Christian radio show and asks that I join her. The disappointment was so huge that I was shocked and couldn’t even utter an answer to her. Looking back at our conversation I realized that she was pointing out all the things she used to do before she joined her religion, how she partied, drank, did this and that, you know, living her life.
Another one. Walks up to me, compliments me and I’m wondering what she’s up to. This one wasn’t as sneaky, but she didn’t mention her invitation to her church until the last minute when I said I was walking in a different direction.
The latest one found me with my guard up. Although I did not yell, did not say anything rude to her, I stopped her dead in her tracks and walked away. She went straight to the point and asked if I had a church I go to, I said I don’t need a church. She then was surprised and was about to begin her speech, when I turned to her with a smile and said “Please, don’t bother.” and I walked away.
I understand that for some people, the joy they feel in their hearts related to their faith is something they feel they want to share with the world. But recruiting is just such a sneaky, low level thing to do. Instead, why don’t you spend your time engaging in activities that have direct, immediate positive impact like volunteering at soup kitchens, or find your local food bank or other organization that collects and distributes food and clothing to those in need? That is something we all need to do more often, and yes I am saying that I myself need to do it more often and that is, volunteer to help those in need.
This also presents another problem that was pointed out to me by my hubby. Personal safety. A person approaching us randomly in the streets and starting up a conversation could potentially be just a distraction so that another one can do something else like robbing, or attacking us, or even worse, kidnapping. This is not only possible, it is real danger and it does happen. It brings a dilemma to me because I would rather not shut myself off when I’m out in the street because you never know who might actually need help or who may be a potential new friend. So the solution right now is just to be more alert and listen to my intuition more.
We all choose and follow our own path.