September 14th, 2011


Chalk on the sidewalks--the campus messaging system

It's starting to get a little difficult to avoid walking on Jesus when I go to class on campus. Now, I'm all for people expressing themselves and their faith, and the obvious corollary is that I also feel free to express myself. So, back to walking on Jesus: it seems to me that every day a large section of sidewalk is covered with an invitation to join one of the Christian groups on campus, and the chalked message almost always includes Jesus' or God's name. I couldn't miss it today. Between the UC and the LA buildings, I tromped on Jesus and dragged my wheelie bag across him. That just doesn't seem right to me.

It's not the frequency of the chalked messages; if a group wants to leave messages so often that they saturate the target audience and lose impact, that's their choice.

Maybe it's the series of cultural briefings that I heard before making port around the world that make me feel that way. Maybe I trotted happily across sidewalk messages the first time I went to college, before I ever knew how disrespectful and insulting that can be in some cultures, but I don't think so. I just have trouble seeing something that so many people consider sacred scrawled there on the ground for people to trample. I guess Jesus wouldn't mind, but I do.

And when I really started to think about it, it's not just this particular set of messages that I try to avoid. I walk around fraternity and sorority names, too. So how do I reconcile one of the best means of campus communication with my aversion to walking on names? I suppose I shall just have to pay attention and watch out for Jesus.