Nerves and Spray Paint – The First Two Weeks in Rodney Square (Re-cap)
Week One – 7/10/11
Some of us were a little nervous. It was our first Sunday doing this outreach. We had just gotten back from Nashville on the fourth of July. We didn’t know what to expect. We soon learned not to expect anything because it’s just a waste of time! There is no way we could ever predict the crazy stuff that happens to us when we’re serving God.
So, nerves and all, we prayed and then started looking for some people to talk to. We walked around Wilmington for about forty-five minutes before anyone would accept food from us! Finally, we were able to feed some people and have a few good conversations. We found the actual square to be the best place to serve. There is a lot of foot traffic from the buses, plus benches for people just hanging out. We’ve been following the same pattern ever since.
Week Two – 7/17/11
Our second week was a pretty memorable one. We found some people sitting around talking outside of the square, so we decided to join in. Our friend Kenny was sitting on a bench with a guy named Train when, suddenly, the guy jumps up and starts emptying out his backpack. We were a little confused and asked him what he was doing. He said Kenny asked him what he did for a living and that he was going to show him. It turned out that Train was a street artist. He made paintings with spray paint and a lighter. So Train leads us down into the square to watch him work. He was starting to attract quite a crowd when a police officer and a couple of security guards came down to see what was going on. People were worried that the officer was going to kick Train out, but he stayed and watched with us.
Train was amazingly talented. And very passionate about his art work! He got so excited talking about it that his whole face would light up. And his enthusiasm was contagious! We all got excited while watching him paint.
Train made a couple of sales that day which would help him move on to his next destination (he got his name by traveling around North America by freight train). But he was running out of spray paint so we decided to pick some up at the store.
Our first stop was a drugstore that was close-by. We noticed that the police officer from Rodney Square (the one watching Train paint) was standing behind us at the drugstore. We jokingly asked him if he was following us. Turns out he was just picking up some things while he was on his lunch break. It was interesting that we saw him there… we don’t exactly know why, but it wasn’t the last time we ran into this particular police officer! But that’s another story.
Personally, this was the day I felt most connected to the people in Rodney Square. It was as if we were a part of their community for a while. There was a mutual appreciation for something (in this case it was Train’s artwork). I know it sounds corny, but it was something we were all able to connect to, and I think that’s significant. As Christians, we need to find ways to connect to others so that we can effectively share the Gospel. We can’t just spit out verses that make no sense to the people we’re talking to. We need to ask God to help us connect to them somehow so that His truth can meet them where they are.