My doorbell rang this morning and I almost didn't answer it. I was plotting points on a nautical map for math class. The cat was rubbing against my arms looking for attention and food. The washing machine was playing it's song to let me know it was time to hang out the clothes. Plus, I was wearing my short workout shorts and tank top and my hair was piled on top of my head and I hadn't showered and I probably had dragon breath. Oh, and periodically, at least 3 days a week, my doorbell rings, I rush to the door, and no one is there. Against all odds, I put down my pencil, returned the cat to the floor for the umpteenth time, and answered the call of the doorbell.
To my great surprise, someone was actually there, two someones to be precise. Diane, a lovely, stout, well-dressed woman and her companion, a tall, trim, man in a tan linen suit holding a clipboard who I believe goes by John. I knew instantly that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. My first Jehovah's witnesses at my own house and me in my short shorts wielding dragon breath! Maybe I should have answered the call of the washing machine instead of the doorbell.
My mom taught with and was friends with a woman once, Gloria, who was a Jehovah's Witness. Diane instantly reminded me of Gloria. I knew I would hear Diane out. After quick introductions, Diane said a little bit about how, with the impending elections and all, people seem to think that the government can solve all our problems and she asked if I thought so. I told her that I think that if people work together and each of us does our part we can solve problems. She looked at me quizzically for a few moments while John stood behind her appraising me and making notes on his clipboard. Their reactions gave me the sense that my answer was unique and unexpected and "off script". Diane handed me two publications and told me she believes that I might find some answers in them. She asked if I have a bible and if I read it. I replied in the positive which brought a smile to her face. I had pleased her. Then she told me she hoped I would read the publications she provided and reference my bible so that next time she stops by we can have a chat about them. I told her thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day.
I closed and locked the door before turning around to find the cat peering out of the hall closet as if to be sure the coast was clear before pitterpattering out to continue rubbing against me. The cat and Diane are all the same, posturing for my attention to enable themselves to work their powers of persuasion on me. Part of me admires that strength in belief and the courage to speak ones truth unapologetically and unrelentingly especially knowing that those you speak to often listen reluctantly. I walked to the kitchen and cracked open a can of Tuna for the cat while she sat regally by flicking her tail and preening as I prepared the reward for all her posturing.
As I returned to plotting points on the nautical map, my thoughts turned to Diane. Had I rewarded her in our exchange? Though I had listened to her kindly and politely and accepted the materials she offered, I did so knowing that I have no intention of becoming a Jehovah's Witness. Though the frequency with which I attend church has fluctuated greatly over the years, though I don't necessarily agree with every stance my church takes, I am confirmed in my faith and do my best to live my life in keeping with it's teachings. From my limited understanding of the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, in listening to Diane and accepting what she offered I was rewarding her in that she was able to spread the word of Jehovah which is what Jehovah's Witnesses feel they have been called to do. So, by speaking with me she was able to strengthen her relationship with Jehovah and that was her reward.
What was my reward in answering the call of the doorbell? A reminder that I do believe in my faith and can not ever imagine turning my back on it. A reminder that God is always there, I just need to answer his call. Hmmm, maybe he is the one ringing my doorbell at least three times a week when I answer it and find no one is there... Oh, and a reminder that even if I don't plan on leaving the house I should shower and brush my teeth before 11:00 in the morning because though one can plot out points on the map for their day one never knows what surprises may arise as they set out on their course.