I didn't recognize him at first when we swirled under the automobile canopy, standing there in his immaculately pressed scarlet and gold uniform; I did notice his youthful and masculine physique, "cut" as the cliche goes, a refreshing change from the feminized men around whom I had been circulating throughout the day. He obviously exercised rigorously, probably with a disciplined workout including weights. "How are you today, sir?" He asked, "I'm doing well, sir," I replied, "and how are you?" "I'm having a wonderful day," he said.
As I exited the car I noticed his name tag, "Matt." It was my opportunity to use his name to witness to him, so I approached him and said, "Matt, do you know what your name means?" I didn't expect him to know, since it is quite uncommon for caucasian youth to know the meaning of their names, or even if their names mean anything at all, and so I was pleasantly surprised when he said, "Yes, sir. It means 'gift of God.'" I said, "That's exactly right. Do you know from what language it derives?" "No, sir," he replied.
Here was my opening.
"It's Greek," I said, "like Matthew in the Bible." I then proceeded to explain the etymology and biblical connection. I'm sure by this time he knew he was talking to a Christian, probably in his judgment a religious fool.
"Oh, I don't care about that," he said, "I am a God." The emphasis upon the "I am," especially the "am" was his.
Various thoughts raced through my mind by which I could stun him into reality, such as,
"Well, if you're a god, what are you doing in that silly uniform parking cars?" or, a more violent thought,
"Do you know I could end your divinity with the feeblest inclination of my will and one stroke of my finger?"
But the angel of my better nature bridled my flaming tongue. Besides, he was first to speak and said, "Where have you been today?"
"To a medical conference about suffering and death."
The unpleasantness of that visibly set him back, and he said, "That's a depressing topic."
"Not at all," I said, "Don't you know the ultimate destiny of all humanity is death, and your destiny as well?"
Matthew, the "god," was silent. That was my clue to walk away with purpose.
As I neared the revolving door, I knew he was watching me. I stopped, turned around, and met him eye to eye.
"Matthew," I said, "you'd better think a little more deeply about your name."