The Jehovah's Witnesses came visiting this morning. They come regularly to our Peaceful Home, and recognising one of them, I opened the door before they knocked. Nicely dressed, pleasant youngish ladies, they seemed overwhelmed with gratitude.
The one I recognised asked me how I was and told me she had enjoyed the discussion we had had during her last visit. I looked politely blank. "Just after Easter," she supplied, helpfully. "We talked about why people liked Easter but didn't like talking about Jesus," she added. "Ah yes," I replied.
If felt awkward and embarrassed, wondering how I could get rid of them but wanting to show them some gracious Christian hospitality at the same time. Hah! Hospitality! What a laugh! I didn't even ask them inside the door, holding the wire door open with one hand and with the other pushing the curious Jemimah back behind the door so they didn't see her. Why, I idly wondered, am I doing that?
They handed me a copy of The Watchtower, and another publication called Awake. "Thank you," I said as I took them, knowing full well that they would go into the recycling as soon as the door was closed. They turned my attention to an article on the 'demise of limbo' in the Catholic Church. "Yes, I had heard that the Catholic Church had changed its mind about that," I said, politely and non-commitally. I waited, curious to discover whether they would raise any theological argument, but they didn't. They never do. Neither do I.
Outside I was chatty and smiling. Inside I felt...well, what did I feel?
I felt admiring. When the Jehovah's Witnesses proselytise, they are putting into action Jesus' commands to make disciples of all nations Matt 28:19-20 . I dare say they don't like it much when people are rude to them and shut the door in their faces. I wouldn't....I don't. That's why I try to be hospitable and kind.
I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed. I didn't like the fact that they knew that I homeschool and was likely to be at home when they called. I resented the intrusion.
I felt myself torn between a desire to evangelise the evangelists and get into a long protracted argument that would get me nowhere, and the greater desire to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
I felt inadequate to the task of countering their false arguments. I know what JW's believe, but I don't know well enough the Biblical passages with which to counter them. I felt unprepared and unready to defend my beliefs.
I felt relieved when they left and were gone.
What should I have done when these ladies knocked at my door? What should I do next time - and there will be a next time? What do you do?
My incredibly knowledgeable and Godly grandmother used to attempt to out argue the pair that visited her home. They just argued louder. They came back armed with more literature and more ammunition and stayed a few hours. When that didn't work they came back again with the 'heavies'. They came again and again. My grandmother was 95 at the time. Eventually my uncle had to go and ask them to go away. She achieved nothing except alot of wasted time.
Maybe next time I should crawl under the sofa and pretend I'm not home.
What do you think?