Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Believe on Jesus"

This morning, I left my treehouse to run an errand. While sitting at the intersection of 7th, University, Camp Bowie, and Bailey, I spotted a man standing on one of the medians. He was sporting a fluorescent yellow/green sandwich-board sign that read:


Now, while I have to admire his cojones, there are several things wrong with his approach, the sum of which makes me sincerely doubt his motives.
First, his message is pretty abrasive. This has got to have an impact on his effectiveness. Sales 101 states that you can't make someone angry and sell them something at the same time; i.e., you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Second, if he is seeking to reach non-believers, how many do you think he will encounter early on a Saturday morning? Crap, even the evangelists who yell into megaphones downtown on weekend nights have got to be more effective simply because of the time and place they choose to proclaim their faith to the masses going out for dinners and drinks.
Finally, did he really think it was okay to wear a sign emblazoned with such a flagrant typo? Does he not know any better? It's certainly not helping his credibility any. Although, as one publishing professional recently told me via voicemail, "Most people don't care about editing anymore." Sigh.

...All these considered, I can't help but think that this man wasn't out there for the good of humanity. My speculation was that he felt some sort of obligation, but not one of the sort that we Christians all should. We should be moved by God's grace to love and befriend everyone, to give thanks in all things, and to offer aid and comfort to those who need it. I believe that this man, with his ineffective tactics, wanted to make a martyr of himself, to feel as though he accomplished (or sacrificed) something important. I think that, had Jesus been passing by, He would've told the man, "Buddy, what are you doing? Let's go hang out with the bums at the bus stop."

I tried to photograph him, but was pretty far away. Here he is anyway:


  1. I agree that his tactics were ineffective but I really what his true intentions were. Would we be brave enough to ask? He is not very approachable in the middle of the busiest and most dangerous intersection in Fort Worth. He doesn't seem to be welcoming questions, now, does he?

  2. Wow: that is one angry little sign. Look at the care he took in its fabrication. Although editing obviously isn't important to him, the construction suggests that he plans to be out there for Sundays to come. But I do wonder what motivates him.

    Rarely do I find fear to be a positive motivational strategy, and though I am often tempted to try it during 7th period, I know that it fails in comparison to the extraordinary love, kindness, patience, etc. that Jesus exemplified.

    Like your mom, I wonder what he would do if you walked up and asked something like, "Tell me about your relationship with Christ..." or "Tell me when you have felt God's grace..." Would an opportunity to talk about his life's blessings soften an otherwise rigidly offensive demeanor?

    Hopefully so...

  3. I know, riiiight? I later heard on the news that day that, on the other side of town (stockyards) a FW gay rights group was holding a "kiss-in" protest. I wondered if that was what spurred this guy into action, or it was a coincidence.