For our last day of ministry (Thursday), we found a place where people eat lunch outdoors. I’m not sure of the location, but it was near a Macy’s and might’ve been Herald Square (if my Google search was accurate). It was an interesting place, because there are so few chairs in relation to people, and these chairs get moved around a lot, in order to accommodate people’s needs. I had sat down to talk with a guy, and by the time I had finished talking with him, all the chairs that had been around where we had been sitting were no longer there.
This first guy I chatted with believed God was a point of light, and we had to empty ourselves of sin in order to approach Him. During our conversation, he even used the metaphor of a cell phone needing recharging to explain our connection to God, little realizing that a cell phone cannot recharge itself, but it needs someone outside itself to be recharged. He was a nice man, but our conversation went in circles before he had to get back to work.
I remember a couple of other conversations. One guy was already a Christian, and even though I can’t remember what all we had talked about, it was a refreshing time just the same. The last guy I talked to spent a few minutes telling me why he didn’t want to talk about what he didn’t want to talk about, and I was reminded of a similar experience Sam had told us about earlier in the week. Our conversation was cut short, as I had to leave.
Even though the rest of our time that day was spent touring NYC, I still felt the need to hand out tracts as we went along. I had them with me, so why not. Besides, we’re never truly off the clock, right? By this point I was more accustomed to people accepting or rejecting them, so it wasn’t as big a deal, though it was still a bit of rejection.
For our tour, we saw part of Fifth Avenue, walked around a bit of Central Park, visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and eventually made our way to Times Square. Fifth Avenue is not very interesting to me; it’s a long row of businesses, and I think we spent what little time we had there walking to nowhere specific, waiting for people to figure out where they wanted to go. Central Park is this huge break from the city, but it still maintains elements of city life. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is this massive church building with some artistic design and impressive architecture (located across the street is a statue of Atlas, the guy from Greek mythology who’s often depicted with the world on his shoulders). Times Square is a place that once the sun sets, everything lights up, and the party begins. It is an over-saturated, overwhelming visual stimulation. When we went inside a particular restaurant to eat, the sun was still out, but by the time we had finished, the night should’ve been a lot darker than it was. One place I had hoped to check out during my visit to Times Square was Toys ‘R Us (I hear there’s a Ferris wheel); I worked at one and almost had a chance to visit this specific location years ago, but it was not to be then either. ‘Twas the second time in my life I missed the opportunity (this time I was just across the street diagonally from it). I had also hoped to visit the LEGO Store (because LEGO). But I digress. It was an overall enjoyable experience, and my favorite part was just spending time with some pretty cool people.
As we were making our way back to the church one final time, we had an opportunity to engage with a few people on one of the subway cars. One of the guys we (mostly one of the interns) spoke with seemed genuinely interested, but he didn’t make a decision. I don’t know what happened to him after talking with him, but at the time it was one final encouragement before our time was up.