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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Madrid: Volume 3: Part 2: The Muslim Incident

Madrid: Volume 3: Part 2: The Muslim Incident
Current mood: Squirrelly & Headachey & Whiney yet Bragadocious
Category: Sports

Once back in Lava Pies lugging our backpacks filled with digital video good news. We bought out the cases of water at the local Champion grocery ajacent to the triangular plaza where we were stationed. Thus began our M work. We would approach complete strangers with the majority of our group knowing 'pequino espanol.' Roughly meaning we knew how to order off the Taco Bell menu and use words not meant to be used in polite conversation. Other than that the M couple and one or two of the rest of the group could hold a conversation with anyone.

We would say 'regalo' which meant gift and attempt to hand the passer-by's a Day-Uhvay-Day and agua. On this particular day people seemed less receptive than they did the rest of the week. One factor could have been our pronunciation got better with repition, another could have been our confindence and comfort levels increased. Another factor may have been that word got around that some loco gringos were passing our free water and movies.

This first day say not only lower receptivity but our only day of true confrontation. Almost immediately upon our arrival we encounter a man ranting and raving in German, saluting Hitler and Franco (the Spanish dictator who firebombed his own people during WWII), and spitting in our general direction. Some believed him to be demon possessed, some believed him to be schizophrenic, some believed him to be drunk, others chose a combination. He wore an army surplus jacket, natty dreads, and a cologne named after a King James passage in the Bible, "pisseth against the wall."

G works in mysterious ways and so we had to do little to engage him in his odd attempt at polite conversation. One of his drinking buddies whom he shared a park bench with took it upon himself to gently ask him to leave. His friend pushed him nearly a block down the street until he finally turned and walked to the next block before I lost sight of him.

The next way G worked was just as odd. After about an hour of passing out the films and water bottles. I had a muslim man decide I was not being forceful enough with my delivery of the word 'regalo' and thus he grabbed me, grabbed the DVD in my hand, and proceeded to show me how it was done. He would step right in front of the person walking by minding their own business and say 'regalo' much in the same way your mother would demand "Eat your vegetables." Without concerning himself with their desire to accept or reject said gift he would thrust it into their chest forcing them to up their hands to take it. While unothodox in his approach and some what in mockery of my politeness he did have a better rate of success. He gave away about 10-12 videos in about a third of the time it took me to give out that many.

And the last way I saw G work mysteriously was when he used my sense of humor to captivate an audience of about 8 young arabic speaking men into a serious discussion about the nature of religion, grace, forgiveness, heaven, JC, his dad, and our differences of opinion. A palestinian man who need a tooth brush almost as much as he needed JC told me he didn't need a DVD but what he could use was some money for cigarettes. I in turn told him he could take the free gift I was offering him and turn around and sale it to his muslim buddies hanging out with him right there on the corner. Sarcasms doesn't seem to translate across religious and linguistic lines as much as I would have hoped. As you can see it was a truly funny, if not ridiculous and flawed, plan. If only they had really gotten the joke.

The one guy who did spoke the best english and thus began the dialogue. First we talked of Bush and the war, and his peoples hatred for all things American and all things JC related. In there mind all Americans represent JC. From their perspective Tom Cruise and Gwen Stefani are just as much followers of JC as Billy Graham.
We discussed the fact that we can talk to G any time we want and in fact that we do all day. We communicate without ceasing as Paul described it to a group from Thessalonica. They think that you can only do that at 5 specific times throughout the day. They simply had no idea that you could have constant and total access, regardless of time or place.

They could not understand that we have assurance of our final destination. There is no security in their system. There is no grace, nor forgiveness, and for that matter no way to resist tempation. That is why they believe and adhere so stringently to a suffocating moral code. The only way to avoid temptation is to remove it completely from society. Thus you don't have to resist it because it is not present. It was just cool to see how G used an odd array of methods to get the message out that day. And coolest of all was that I got to see it and be apart of it first hand.

Currently listening:
B Collision By David Crowder Band
Release date: By 27 June, 2006

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