Monday, April 21, 2014

Talking With a Jehovah's Witness at my Door

Two Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door a few days ago. I usually dismiss them with a polite but firm "Thanks but no thanks" kind of response. But this time it was two women, and one of them was a personable and extremely cute, young Asian woman. So, I ended up talking with her through the screen door for almost fifteen minutes while an African-American woman stood behind her and smiled.

Once upon a time, when my grandmother was still alive and I was her caregiver as she slid steadily into helpless senility, two Jehovah's Witness ladies came to my door, and I let them in for a discussion. They talked to me and to my grandmother. It turned out that both were registered nurses, and they ended up helping me tremendously in attending to my grandmother's growing needs until the end of her life. I will always be extremely grateful to them for that. I also agreed to embark upon a course of Bible study and discussion with two male Witnesses that continued over several weeks.

Of course, I had no intention of converting from profound non-belief in any kind of "personal" God to their religion, but I've always enjoyed talking about religion, and I was intellectually curious to learn more about their unconventional beliefs. I've since forgotten most of what I learned, but I remember coming away from the experience with those men and the two nurses feeling mystified over how these seemingly intelligent and thoughtful people could embrace such nonsense, but also feeling impressed that they all seemed to live their faith in devoted ways that most so-called religious people I've observed didn't. I had to hand it to them that they appeared to practice what they preached and that what they preached was, if bordering on insane in some of its elements, at least relatively harmless and even solidly beneficial to the people, such as my grandmother, whom these Witnesses helped in the community.

I told the Asian woman about the Witnesses I had observed, and she thanked me for the compliment to her faith. But I also told her I'd be extremely unlikely to ever believe what she believes. Yet, she still asked if it would be okay to leave some literature with me and, perhaps, for her to stop back by and discuss it with me sometime. If she had not been so pretty and friendly, I would have politely said no. But she was, and I said okay.

I've only read a couple of paragraphs from one of the two small pamphlets she gave me. I guess I better get to work.

No comments: