I thought about making a surprise visit to the Brentwood Ward at the LDS Church down the street; a cameo appearance of sorts, but I was feeling sort of under the weather and two of my children were also not feeling well. Three of us stayed home and watched movies instead of going to church.
God must have sensed our absence because he sent a messenger with words from the Bible. About half way through our movie, we heard a knock at the door. Dakota answered the door and then said a man wanted to talk with me. I didn't want to respond; I was still wearing pajamas at 1:00 in the afternoon, my hair was still unkempt from the night before, but I felt obligated.
As soon as I looked out onto my front porch, I recognized my visitor as a representative from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, also known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. He wore a suit and carried a small, black briefcase. He held a Bible and several pamphlets in the other hand.
Right away I informed him we were feeling sick in our home, but I would welcome any literature he cared to share with us. He offered me the pamphlet you see above about life in a peaceful new world.
You can always identify literature from the Jehovah's Witnesses by its idyllic scenes from a paradisiacal world; lions lying down with lambs, children of various ethnic backgrounds are playing with bears, someone carrying a basket of fruit, snow-capped mountains in the distance. They promise peace and deliverance from the chaotic, violent world we see around us today. Truly, I find their message faintly appealing, if it weren't for the socially rigid and dogmatic system I know follows if a person joins their movement.
My grandmother is Jehovah's Witness, and several of my closest friends from high school. In fact, most Jehovah's Witnesses I know make ardently loyal friends if you take the time to get to know them individually; and fierce opponents if you dare compete with them for souls (as I did as an LDS missionary in Guatemala). I almost became Jehovah's Witness at one point, but something deep inside me convinced me otherwise. It's quite ironic that I once felt drawn to deeply conservative religions, like Mormonism or the Jehovah's Witnesses, and now I find myself at the complete opposite extreme of the conservative-liberal scale.
Despite differences in opinion regarding doctrine and biblical interpretation, I still find a soft spot in my heart for those who preach the word of God door to door. If I hadn't been feeling sick, I probably would have invited the man to stay a while, if nothing more than to give him a brief moment's rest and a little friendly encouragement.