Tonight I went to dinner in a neighboring town with some friends. We were celebrating one of them because she is going to have a baby any minute now! I’m pretty sure we tried to laugh the baby out of her tonight, but it didn’t work.
While we were at dinner, we heard that a presidential candidate was in town. Well, as we were all trying to avoid our kids’ baths anyway (sorry, husbands), we decided to head on over to the store where he was making an appearance. Right as we drove up, Ben Carson climbed onto his tour bus, and we were left standing in the parking lot with a host of other people, all of us snapping pictures of the bus and standing around basically amused by the spectacle of it all.
Plenty of people who seemed sincerely excited about getting the chance to grab a picture with the bus waited politely in line and took turns getting their shots. But, after a few moments of this, a young campaign worker descended the steps of the bus and walked around, angrily yelling at people to get away from the bus. He shooed them away like they were annoying little children or clueless cattle.
This boy looked no more than 25 years old. He waved his arm and shouted, “Get away! MOVE!”
Now, I’m sure that Ben Carson himself, or any other political candidate who has any sense whatsoever, wouldn’t be talking to potential voters that way. But, this boy stormed out there and acted as a representative for Ben Carson and his campaign. And, he treated the people who were excitedly trying to take pictures like they were complete pests.
I suspect that he was annoyed. I think that there were people out there who were trying to cause trouble. There were a few who were not behaving themselves, maybe. But, for the most part, this Carson-friendly crowd was cut down in an instant by one man in a campaign shirt. And, the truth is that when I walked away from the bus that I knew Ben Carson was in, I left with a negative impression of his campaign. Is that fair, after just seeing one guy who works for him make a fool of himself? Probably not. But, that was my feeling nonetheless.
Now imagine that you are in a restaurant. Someone in there knows that you go to church. They may even know which church you go to. The service in this place is bad and the waitress got everything wrong. You get so frustrated that you end up yelling at her or not leaving her a tip or making a big scene out of talking about her to your family. What kind of impression do you think the people around you would get of the God you serve or the church you serve in? Chances are, they would walk away feeling not so good about your “good news.”
It’s always fascinating when political seasons show us truths about Christian life. All I know is that I don’t want to be the person who is giving people a bad impression of my Jesus.
Oh, and also, Ben Carson needs to hire a new get-away-from-the-bus guy. Maybe more of a please-step-away-from-the-bus-so-you-don’t-get-hurt guy would be better.
We did get a slightly blurry picture in front of the bus. I call it, “The Night We Almost Met Ben Carson.”