September 27, 2009

Ambushed by Jehova's Witnesses

The Watchtower and Awake from The Jehovah's Wi...Image by Dan Patterson via Flickr

I was mowing my back yard yesterday morning. It was hot and muggy - typical Mississippi weather, and I was quite sweaty by the time I was finished. As I opened my gate and pulled the mower through on the way to the garage, I heard a voice behind me that startled me. I had been listening to my iPod, and it was tough to make out what the voice was saying through the music. I turned around quickly to see two well-dressed men. One was about 30 feet away, and the other was all the way on the other side of my front yard. My first thought was that one of them was a political candidate campaigning for something.

When I pulled the headphones off, I heard the man who was closer to me comment about how I was smart to get my yard work done early before the weather heated up. He did look like a politician, and he was dressed too nicely to be a neighbor. Then I noticed what looked like a Christian bible in his hand.

He motioned to the front of my house and said, "We noticed your signs and weren't sure whether to knock." Caught off guard, it took me a moment to realize what he was talking about. I have a large "no soliciting" sign in the flowerbed in front of my house and a no proselytizing sign in a window near the front door. The combination has been extremely effective at deterring Christians.

As I paused, he continued, "Yes, we're Jehova's Witnesses." I laughed reflexively and replied, "In that case, you were probably wise to not to knock." After a bit more small talk and no more references to religion, they left.

As much as I despise proselytizing, it was a polite encounter all around. Had I not been itching all over from the grass clippings and longing for a shower, I might have asked him why he bothers to seek converts in Jesusland. I can't help wondering if most of his encounters with the Southern Baptists in my neighborhood were as civil.

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