January 16, 2009

Incredible

I'm not easily shocked by people these days, but every once in a while, someone does or says something that really knocks my socks off. Today was one of those days, and lucky you...I'm going to share!

We live in a neighborhood that gets a good deal of evangelical door-knocking foot traffic. Usually, if I see them before they make it to my house, I just do not answer the door when they knock or ring the bell. I let the dogs bark their warnings and I stay away from any doors and windows until they get the message....or, I let Neal deal with them!

Now, let's get something straight. I was raised a Methodist and grew up in the church. I went to church every Sunday (until I became a rebellious teenager), I went to Sunday School, youth group, pot lucks, all that jazz. I am a Christian and I believe in God. As an adult, I have formed my own opinions about organized religion and do not attend a church on a regular basis, but I still have a deep devotion and spiritual faith and I am comfortable with that. I have absolutely nothing against people who have religious convictions and want to share the gospel, BUT I do not want anything forced down my throat at my own front door...uninvited. That goes for any product, be it insurance or religion. If I am interested in what you are selling, I will seek you out, thank you very much.

This morning, as I was sitting at the computer, the doorbell rang. I do not know why I got up and went to the door, instead of walking upstairs to look out and see who it was first, like I normally do. Maybe subconsciously I thought it was the UPS or FedEx guy, or a neighbor. No such luck. The dogs were going crazy and I had to make my way through them to open the door. Since they were barking ferociously and trying to bolt, I only opened the door enough to stick my head out. There stood two women, Bibles in hand, ready to deliver their message. As I was standing at the door, in my pajamas, with George poking his head between my legs and Captain pushing at me from the side, I bid them a good morning and waited for the pitch, secretly kicking myself for opening the door.

I am used to the door-knockers identifying themselves first, then asking too-personal questions like "Do you attend a church?"or "Are you saved?"And when I tell them I am comfortable with my faith and express my disinterest, they usually get the message, leave me with a brochure and move on. Not this time. I explained that I was home sick (God forgive me), which I thought they would buy since I was still in my pajamas, but that didn't do the trick. The woman closest to the door barely paused to register what I had said before she whipped out her Bible, opened to a scripture and pointed to the words as she read out loud, over my barking, charging dogs. Oh. Yes. She. Did. I actually looked down at the scripture, which mentioned something about Thy Kingdom, and could very well have been the Lord's Prayer, but I was so focused on the woman's index finger as it slid from one word to the next that I didn't pay attention to the actual words.

In my stunned stupor I interrupted her as I held back barking, snarling dogs, and said, "Ma'am (that's the Southerner in me), I cannot do this right now." She closed her Bible and looked up at me. I looked over at her partner, who was standing there grinning, then back at her. This is it, I'm thinking. They got the message and will leave now. I mean, really, who in their right mind would stand there and continue reading to an obviously unwilling participant who was fighting to restrain two large dogs? Not to mention, someone who claimed to be home sick? Then the lead lady said, "Well, what we would like to know is....when do you think The Kingdom will come?" WHAT??? At that moment, I got a flash of the Stepford Wives and chills ran up my spine.

There were a million and one things I could have said that would have been rude and totally tacky, or I could have just slammed the door in their faces. But, I couldn't do that. I am too nice and I hate conflict. And I really hate being caught off guard. And my momma raised me better than that. So, I simply said again, "MA'AM, I CANNOT DO THIS RIGHT NOW!" Finally, she got it and they turned and walked away. I spent the next hour or so re-playing the events through my head and disbelieving what had just happened. I called Neal, explained my experience and told him we really need to hurry up and get to our rural mountain property for good. My husband, who is much more comfortable confronting people than I am, said I should have told them The Kingdom was coming today if they didn't leave! I couldn't help but wonder what kind of reaction that would have gotten from the Stepford Wives!

10 comments:

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Lilla,

I just found your blog by chance tonight and have enjoyed reading your posts.

I do believe the same ladies were at my door a couple of weeks ago. Sounds just like the experience I had.

Love the pictures of the cats and squirrel.

I will visit again.

Lilla said...

Sweet Virginia - thanks for visiting my blog. So, you got cornered by the Stepford Wives, too? They do cover a lot of territory, don't they?

I noticed from your blog that you have a new cat addition to the family...she's a beauty. Good luck introducing her to your other cat!

Come back and visit any time.

Anonymous said...

As usual, cleverly done and wonderful to read!

Perhaps your neighborhood should set up the same phone warnings we have when the bicycle crew hits the street.

:)
valerie

Lilla said...

Thanks, Valerie. You are too kind. I like the sound of that phone warning system! Gives a new meaning to "neigborhood watch", doesn't it?

JOE and JANE said...

So when do you think the Kingdom will come?

Lilla said...

You would know the answer to that better than I, Reverend Joseph!

LiveWorkDream said...

Wow, I wouldda said "Kingdom's gonna come when I thump you over your head with that bible!"

How rude.

I usually tell 'em I'm Jewish and they go away pretty quick.

Lilla said...

Rene - too funny! Sounds like you and Neal have the same sense of humor! I was so stunned by her behavior that I did good to say what I did!

Robbyn said...

I'm chuckling over this one ;-) We have some periodic evangelism traffic from the door-to-doorers here, but they are very conservative and when they get a load of me in my garden get-up (sweaty, dirt all over) they're happy to keep on walking ;-) I did used to get cult members a lot(or at least that's how I think of them) when I lived in a different state. The Moonies would drop off very young girls who'd canvass the neighborhood and I always wondered how much sleep or food they'd had. I invited them in each time. They were always exhausted and enjoyed whatever I'd offer them as far as food and drink. The last time one of their girls came by, I gave her cold lemonade to drink and excused myself to the kitchen for a moment. She fell sound asleep on the couch. I sat there reading a book for a long time till she woke up...she slept like a baby. Then we did talk and I told her to GET OUT...of her cult, and yes, pursue a faith, but to think for herself. And then I fed her and I hope she fared ok after that. I'm the weird one who (sometimes) doesnt mind inviting those folks in. :) Just don't ask me to drink the Koolaid...

Lilla said...

Robbyn, you are a better woman than I! I've never been tempted to invite the door-knockers into my house, but then again, I've never encountered any that were young women like the ones who visited you. The ones who visited me recently were grown women who should have known how to take a hint!