The Evangelical Value of Ciggys
I have been contemplating keeping a pack of cigarettes with me in my bag at all times.
Why? I do not smoke... unless I am drinking a G&T with friends in New Haven, at the Gypsy, on a warm Friday evening; the habitual practice seems contrary to the proper love of self. BUT, a lot of people smoke, a lot, and these are often people whom I would like to Engage in a Stimulating Conversation because more often than not, they need to know Jesus- and I need to know more of Jesus through them. So I think I may start keeping cigarettes on hand. To wit: a few years ago, walking home from a late dinner in Morocco, Present Company and I found ourselves on A Bad Street. Within minutes, we were accosted by an angry gentlemen who was insensed that we were there. He waved his fists at us. He cursed us in some unholy way. He got closer. Present Company simply produced a ciggy, and Jihad was avoided; we parted friends. If we had not been Scared Out of our Wits, an evangelical moment might have followed.
Then again, this weeken Present Company and I were stepping out for a late night showing of "Borat." Down the hall rushes Distraught Neighbor; she has just been dumped. She needs a cigarette. Present Company produces a handful with characteristic grace; I give her a big hug and ask her if there is anything we can do, ask her if it was a good thing, and send her on her way somewhat consoled. Maybe I will drop her a note this week and we will go out for coffee. Maybe she will come with me to church on Sunday. But the thing she will rememember is... we had cigarettes. I think I will be keeping some on hand.