Last week we told another woman that there is nothing more that can be done. Cancer will kill her. We signed her up for palliative care. Yet another. I went back into the room after the doctor spoke with the woman and her son to help them organize the wheelchair, oxygen tank, and other accessories.
Her son reached into his pocket and stated "I'm going to give you this. It's not a ticket to heaven, but it will tell you how to get there." He slipped something into my hand. I put it into my pocket and politely thanked him.
I got back to the "control room" where doctors, nurses, and clerks gather and work together. I pulled out a glossy tract with a butterfly on the cover that stated "How to be Born Again." I was surprised that I felt somewhat offended.
I thought tracts were a thing of the past. I'm pretty sure that in our day and age, they should be. I mean, I think I have my faith mostly figured out. The basics I've got with lots of shades of grey in between. I love shades of grey - that's what makes faith personal. Most people know what they believe and what they want. I would gamble to say that 95% or more of our culture knows the Jesus story in some way, shape, or form. I don't think tracts will win anyone over. I think people's faith needs to be a result of their own personal struggles and searching. That's how people decide what they believe.
But mostly I wondered.. What makes me look especially like I need extra saving? The half dozen others who were in and out of that room for the patient visit left tract-less. But I got a-tract-ed. And irritated. Who would have thunk it?