I forgot to mention this a couple weeks ago … I got the flyer “The End of False Religion is Near” from the Jehovah’s Witnesses (their Kingdom Hall is next door). At first I thought they were announcing they were closing, but then realized they were targeting the evils of OTHER religions, geared as usual mostly toward the “King fo the Hill” in Christianity — Catholicism. I guess it’s the spiritual equivalent of picking on Microsoft.
Anyway, I was annoyed and the only reason I didn’t write a letter telling themn to not solicit here (and they haven’t for years previous to this, maybe never), was that they realy believe what they believe and think they are not doing harm by suggesting the rest of us are all doomed and in need of fellowship with them.
Then the elder, “Sal”, came over and asked about removing tree debris on the property line. I told him I didn’t even know whose trees they were, but would love to help. With my axe, the saw Merry and I found in the woods years back, and a chainsaw they lent me, I got rid of tons of the branches and faltering trees. Visibility around the driveway was restored, and I had a pleasant time talking with Elder Sal. But it still is a bit creepy that the kids dress in suits like their dads, often with similar briefcases of their own. No worries … we all have our cultural differences and that makes things interesting.
But this was an opportunity where I could separate a closed, even sometimes oppressive belief system from the often good people who belong to it. Putting a real face on something you don’t believe in or are offended by can bring out the natural human response of seeing them as brothers — at least for me. Praise God for each other.