Ann Arbor, Michigan. We journeyed to downtown Ann Arbor again this past Friday night. Yes, it was ridiculously cold, and with a couple of us wearing several layers (I had at least 3 and thermals), Antarctica and Michigan were neck and neck for near uninhabitable.
The night started in Liberty Plaza, distributing food with other organizations and 'church' groups that feed the homeless and working poor each Friday night. Afterward, we headed toward downtown Ann Arbor and U of M's campus.
We were fortunate enough to be in town at the same time as a Robert Plant concert, so there were plenty of people to talk to. Tracts were distributed across U of M's campus and there were quite a number of discussions had. Paul a drummer, who believed there was an essential need for 'experiencing' God. Bill, a drunkard, who believed his habit was justified because he does good works, and he is experiencing rough times right now. But, he knows the scriptures and their stories, and his knowledge is almost just enough to make him dangerous to his own soul.
Also, pray for the laborers and their households. Pray the Lord would protect their families from the attacks of the enemy for their faithful service.
Of note, prayer for the "History Teacher" are in order of request. He claimed his life was over because he caught a few cases some years back. He also justified his marijuana habits through open promotion of his fiscal need on his sign (the very thing that caused him to acquire criminal cases). He was adamantly opposed to religion in general, but very vitriolic toward Christians, the Bible, and Christian History. It was one of those interesting discussions where only one person hurls claims at the other without any opportunity to dialog. As difficult as it is to be faced with opposition to one's faith, it is even more difficult to respect their opinion, validate their claims, and have a civil discourse when they do not even come up for air. Please pray for this man, and hope that our conversations, or future interactions would be fruitful. Pray that his anger would not consume him, and that the bitterness over the course of his life would be seen for what it really is.
When he would not listen to reason, or exchange views regarding other options to provide for himself, or work for money as opposed to begging for change on the street, he state that his life was completely over. In an attempt to address something with a greater impact on life here on earth, and because there were few topics covered that resulted in much substance, he was asked about the next life, what happens when you die? He did not like that question at all, and knew immediately that we were Christian. In lieu of all of my opinion on the matter, I would like to address him directly below,
History Teacher, if for some reason you come across this post. I pray you will be interested in discussion next time. I would even be willing to buy you dinner, coffee, or whatever it is you might need that day. I absolutely will not buy you pot, but I will buy you something of sustenance. I also hope, that with all the knowledge you express, and claim to have, you would humble yourself to an exchange of opinion and worldview, maybe even a bit of debate. Either way, the claims you made on Friday were very lofty and significant. The irony that you knew we were Christians before we announced it to you says something profound to you does it not? I hope it says we care about your eternal state. I hope it says we are interested in more than just 'forcing our religion' down your throat. I wish I would have been able to say enough to own that claim, but respectfully understand how one bearing the name 'christian' would warrant so much anger.
History Teacher, next time, I hope you will let my life be an example of what I believe, and not preconceived notions or concepts of those who have approached you previously. We truly had no intent on making you angry, and we pray, next time, you will forgive us for what it was that angered you.
We will see you next time, hopefully.