Three people came to our front door this morning wanting to spread the word of God to the heathens. Two pleasantly dressed women of middle age stood on the porch, and behind them several steps was a teen-age boy who was fidgety and did not seem interested in the visit. The tallest of the two women said they were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I had not seen Witnesses at the house in five years or more. They are always polite but have the annoying attribute of persistence.
The tallest woman who was actually very short read off six questions from the front of a magazine which I assumed to be either The Watchtower or Awake! I don’t remember a single question, and at the first chance, I said as nicely as I could, “I don’t believe in God.”
I thought that statement might turn them in reverse. But instead, both women approached closer to the screen door which was one of many things that separated us. A short discussion followed with the tall-short woman.
She pointed to the house, saying someone had to make it, and that’s how the world came to be, from a Maker, from God.
But who made God? I asked. She said the Bible tells us God has always existed with no beginning and no end. I said I didn’t believe the Bible was a book of truth. I told her what I believe: We human beings are products of chaos and randomness and that Man is a doomed experiment who will surely devise means to obliterate the planet.
Eventually, the woman saw I was a hard case, thanked me, and turning to leave, said she enjoyed our conversation. But she could not leave before indicating she might return some day. Maybe my views will change, she said.
I’m a bit ashamed of myself, not that I didn’t express my true beliefs. I usually speak my mind when provoked, yet . . . .
I’m ashamed of being too close-minded. I wish I had asked the woman some questions, knowing that Witnesses believe Armageddon on Earth is near. Like what is the time frame? I wish I had asked how old she thought Earth was? I wish I had asked her political views if indeed she had any. If so, does she vote? Who does she favor?
You can learn from anyone, even those with whom you most disagree. I should try harder next time. But it has been my experience that if you encourage religious zealots just a bit, they soon become encouraged too much.