Be warned, I’m crawling back atop my soapbox again…
The other day I took the morning and headed off into the sea of humanity in search of those must-find-last-minute Christmas stocking stuffer items.
Thankfully, as I walked the aisles in search of ideas, congestion wasn’t too bad; moods of the people were generally pleasant and even the hand full of toddlers throughout the store were content.
This was turning out to be a rather decent Christmas shopping day!
Then, just like that, it went South — and in a hurry. Upon ducking off for a quick stop in the restroom, I noticed, there on the baby changing table a tract. No doubt placed dead center on the changing table out of love and compassion for the individual who would see it, be stirred in their spirit to postpone the true business at hand, pick up and read the track, and there at the base of the urinal; now a makeshift alter, accept Christ into their life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about people coming to discover the love and life that is found only in Jesus Christ. What I’m not about is the method in play.
Let’s consider the reality of the situation here. This table exists for one true purpose, to have a safe and secure place to change your babies dirty diaper. Granted it can be used for loads of other things, but it’s true purpose is so parents can safely and easily change diapers. Generally, when a table such as this is required, the last thing a parent wants to do is have to clear it off of debris. I remember the changing table days… You usually come bursting into the restroom, screaming kid in one arm, overflowing diaper bag and whatever else in the other. Your only real thought is how to drastically improve the situation in the shortest amount of time.
Coming into the restroom to find anything on the changing table is not what any parent wants to deal with. Finding a Christian tract telling me I’d better Turn or Burn lying there is even worse. It’s just not helpful. I know people who buy these sort of tracts and go to great lengths to litter them all over town are doing so with what they feel are great intentions. But personally, if you want to be helpful, leave some coupons for diapers there by the changing table. Leave something of value for the parent. Don’t leave a tract lying there.
I think we’re missing the many opportunities at hand when all we do is leave a tract. It takes no involvement to leave a tract lying there; as if some how that’s preaching the Gospel. It’s not. It’s no where close. The Gospel is preached so often through our actions and love toward other people. The reality is, to preach the Gospel to other people requires interaction with them. A benign tract laying on the ground is the furthest thing from this. If, as Christ-followers we want to help; to do some good, we’re going to have to get our hands dirty and get involved in the lives of people. Plain and simple. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it.
The same theory applies to leaving a tract for your waiter or waitress at a restaurant. If you do this, you’d better match it with a real tip. Better yet, just give her a great tip, clean up the table as best you can, look her in the eye and smile at her as you walk out. But I’m not going down this road… not today anyway.
Okay, I’m stepping down now…