Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On the corner

This is a blog that has been sitting, brewing, like a larva in a cocoon.
It has just metamorphosed into something, I'm not sure what. It might turn it to a really nice sort of butterfly, the kind you occasionally see fluttering in the cool breeze of a beautiful summer day. On the other hand I just may head toward a bright, stinking-hot light and well you know...
One time, Dan and I handed out some digest bibles.
We put together a little package, Digest bible, book mark from the digest bible people, Budounoki Cell Church bookmark, and a size matching orange Let's Alpha! flyer advertising the upcoming Alpha. It was a bookmark sandwich. Bible on one side orange flyer on the other side, with the bookmarks in the middle somewhere all packed in a just the right size Ziploc baggie.
In Osaka it is common to see people handing out flyers to passersby, often it is a small pack of tissues with advertising on it, sometimes it is a restaurant or a hair salon in the vicinity, sending out the employees to drum up some business.
As I stood on the street corner, in between potential people, I noted;
The orange side seemed attractive to passersby.
It was stressful, my first time to stand on a street corner and hand out.
My hands got cold. But I was well dressed for the weather.
The sun shone at times caressing me.
It drizzled for a short time, but we were not to be daunted by a little rain.
So many different people walk by, all created by God. So many different reactions, you can tell something about a person's personality by how they walk by or how they respond.
Some as far away as possible.
Some avert their eyes head downward.
Some ignore you, don't even acknowledge your existence.
Some are extremely busy, in a huge hurry,
Some smile,
Some are polite,
Some are senile,
Some are friendly,
Some are interested, in the foreigners who do something so Japanese but so "in your face"; handing out flyers on a street corner,
Some are intrigued,
Some accept because it is easier than rejecting,
Some reject out of long habit,
Some reject because it easier than accepting,
Some reject and then change their mind by the time they get a little further around the corner,
Some run as if in a hurry to catch the stale green light, but there is still lots of time left before the light changes,
Some fight over the one copy, Please have more,
Some stop to read instead of crossing the street,
Dan is good at handing out. You can tell he has done it before. I don't like it.
After the fact looking back, I feel I know the street corner. I stood there for several hours. The close corner which I walk by most often, was more comfortable to stand on. The far corner was less comfortable, for two reasons, one I walk there less often, and two it was where we started.
I feel I know my community better. I saw some of the locals, the building security/traffic director who always looks very friendly, who Aukje always chats with on the way to the church.
Eiichi-san the owner of Ottori. The strong silent type, he said hey to me with a smile and I responded with 'afternoon' in Japanese and asked him if he was 'genki'.
Yet while standing there, I felt a basic 'community feeling' that is difficult to find in a such a highly densely populated area.
So many faces, so many people.