the power of words?

the unlit highway of self-assurance.
a man at the park stopped and asked me if i'd read his tract. i told him no offense, but i'd read a lot of literature about God, and was suddenly subject to even more now that i'm living homeless. why not just chat?

there was a message to be dispersed, and he was attempting to "reach out to the younger generation."

"people don't have time to talk to me," he said, citing examples of people texting or absorbed in the music coming out of their ipods.

so i told him: "i think literature is remarkably ineffective strategy for conveying your message, especially for younger people." it may be true that people "don't have time" to talk to him, but it's almos certainly true that they don't have time to read his tract after they walk away. and if they do, what then? what kind of power can literature convey to this world?

even as a english major, i am skeptical of the power of stark written word to convert a person into a believer in an un-stark and unwritten Reality. "how about demonstrating the love of God?" i said. "can you feel it right now?"

he could. but certainty had it's nasty little claws in him. he wasn't offended by my words, but asserted with intensity: "i know that what i'm doing is right." he cited a biblical account of apostles "preaching door-to-door" and referenced the persecution that he had experienced as an open-air evangelist...

there are some people who need to believe what they believe to be ok, who cite evidence in defense of the dogmatic claims upon which their sense of self-value is based. i think the man at the park is one of those people. and so am i.