Open Air: Battle Of The Buskers

Up Market Street on our right, we have Bob Marley - or rather, a busker running through the tired old reggae repertoire that was out of date decades ago. He’s not playing anything, just singing along to a pre-recorded backing track. It’s the sort of stuff that the Stoner Community might like to thrash around to on a sunny afternoon, but they aren’t out today: it’s far too cold.

Behind the building at our back, we have Leonard Cohen - or rather, an over-amplified folkie who fancies he can improve on the many versions of “Hallelujah” that already exist. He is sadly mistaken in this belief. He goes on to murder more classics from Mr Cohen’s back catalogue, turning up the volume at intervals in order to compete with our putative rastaman’s racket.

And here we are, in between the two of them, with a little amplifier powered by six AA batteries.

Nevertheless, we can still be heard in the area directly in front of us; but it takes an effort to concentrate on what we’re saying, such is the cacophony created by the battle of the buskers combined with the noise of the crowds, the trams and the traffic. Notwithstanding, we preach on, since we have a message that is far more important than rasta ramblings or pseudo-religious psychodrama.

We do our best, but people are hurrying by for the most part, wrapped up in winter wear and eager to get to somewhere warmer. There are occasional conversations, and one man takes a picture of our Latin motto, and asks me to translate it for him. Brendan and Peter give out tracts in abundance, speaking to a few folk, including one man who has a history of mental illness; but, as Brendan reports, “he’s always been aware of Jesus’ presence, which has kept him going.”

Stephen and I also manage to distribute a good number of tracts between us, and we’re happy enough by the time we’re ready to pack up and pray, despite the numbness that has crept into our fingers and toes.

We will be taking a brief break over Christmas. We will miss out the 21st and the 28th of December, but we hope to be back, God willing, on the 4th of January, 2023. Feel free to join us if you so wish, and please pray for us then, if the Lord puts it upon your heart to do so.

Every blessing!