As the woman pictured passed by the display, her eyes seemed to say, "Die, mister, die." I still asked her for her thoughts and she let me have it with her hatred for us coming onto her campus with "gross and disgusting photos that kept her from concentrating in class." She told me, "It is wrong to show things that would detract me from my education."
I asked for permission to be strongly personal with her in my response and she said ok. I then asked in a compassionate way how it is ok for her to come on campus with metal spikes embedded all over her ears, eyebrows and lips (I counted six on her lips) and grossly dirty words tattooed on her forearms (don't read her forearm in the photo), and not think that would be distracting and gross for other students sitting next to her in class.
She said that her expression was considered "art." I pointed to our display and said "our photos are revealing truth."
What she said next was unexpected and broke my heart.
She looked me in the eyes and said she is a "PK." That's a preacher's kid. I asked her where her dad is a pastor and she said, "He was a Southern Baptist preacher who died when I was 12 years old."
My heart ached for this woman as I realized her "expression" didn't seem to be "art" but an angry, bitter spirit towards God.
As I spent a few more moments trying to feel her pain, it was one more encounter with the darkness found all over the college campuses.
I reached out to her and offered more direction towards the Cross and then offered my hand to her. She reluctantly took my hand and I thanked her for sharing her story with me. I hope that touch and dialogue planted a seed for this lost soul.
So onward we go into the trenches battling for the souls of men and women.