Thursday, November 18, 2010

Evangelism? Getting picked up? Is there a line?

"The chocolate covered ones are good," was the first thing he said (I was looking at nuts). And in about two minutes, I learned his name, that he just moved into town two days ago, he doesn't really know anyone, he's looking for a second job, and that he's single.  He was in a getting to know you mode.  At least he didn't ask for my number, but he did leave with, "Maybe I'll see you around."

It's no surprise that the grocery store is a place where people meet.  I found that picture on the left through a website that lists places where men could meet women (and how they could approach them).

But my question is this.  Is there a line between getting picked up and evangelism?  So this is for my single Christian ladies out there.  Where do you draw the line, if you draw a line?

When I went to Hawaii with a group of my lady friends, I noticed that they were very guarded when it came to revealing where we lived.  When asked, they tried to be vague, even if the question came from a waitress about our age.  Their hesitance is understandable, but I highly doubt that a Hawaiian will try to stalk us all the way to the mainland.  I thought they needed to chill.  There is merit in "Stranger Danger", but speaking only about child sexual abuse, only about 10% are committed by a stranger, 30% by relatives, and 60% by acquaintances.  In general, almost 2/3 of rape were completed by someone known to the victim.  73% of sexual assault were perpetrated by a non-stranger.  The danger is not always with strangers.  It is actually closer to home.

That said I'm still wary of strangers who approach me, even though I may be polite and all smiles. And I'm hesitant to bring strangers closer to my home.  So where is the balance?  On one hand, you may say that I had a window of opportunity to connect that man to church.  He's new in town.  He could use some friends.  Our men's ministry is friendly.  They go biking, they play darts, they watch Pacquiao fights, and even have an annual river rafting in the summer.  On the other hand, I believe that women need to know how to protect themselves (1 in 6 women in America will be a victim of sexual assault).  While I'm a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do, I admit that I don't have much physical strength to boast of.  That man was nice enough, but if I learned anything from watching crime dramas, it's that offenders don't always look or act like a bad guy (and offenders are not always male).

So do you draw a line?  Where is it?

Personally, I do draw a line.  I think I'm approachable, but I don't do the approaching.  And I'm open to answer just about any question, but the personal answers I give tend to be shallow (unless you're a close friend, that's different).  Bottom line is, I philia you, but I carry pepper spray.

Visit RAINN.org for more information on sexual assault or to find help.
Philia = brotherly love

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