So this morning I prayed that God would give me a story to go along with today’s lesson and two minutes later He answered that prayer with Jehovah’s Witnesses… not what I had expected. I was sitting at my desk (aka the dining room table because it’s bigger and I like to sprawl… sorry Alyshia). I was in my pajamas because why wouldn’t I be? And I had on my giant penguin slippers; again, why wouldn’t I? I’m a man with soooo much fashion sense (again, sorry Alyshia… this of course is particularly funny since the last two posts were on how to have great sex. How to have great sex: Don’t wear giant penguin slippers with Disney’s Grumpy pajamas or you might never have the chance to practice.) After staring at my computer I gave a quick prayer and a few minutes later I saw two people walk by the window on their way to the front door. I’m now left with a question: Do I hide and pretend I’m not home or do I answer the door in my pajamas and hair styled by Chez Pillow, which is the cheapest and friendliest hair stylist you can find. I have some dignity… some… enough to know this is not how you should greet strangers at the door, but my goal is to be as loving with people as possible and the loving thing is not to leave them waiting and feeling rejected at the door. I decided to be honest and greeted them with a big smile and a joke about how fashionable I was. At the door were two young people, a guy and girl about 20 years old; both were very attractive… way to step it up Jehovah’s Witnesses. If I was 20 and single I’d be checking out the church: (me at 20) “You’re a hot girl and you’re talking to me? Wow, God is good. I think I need you to save my soul as I stare at you. Being saved involves drooling right?” The girl is the one who spoke… clearly they’ve got it set up so the girl talks to the guys and the guy talks to the women. That’s great marketing. Her opening line… not so great marketing: (her) “Here’s a flyer with some great information like how to make friends.” (me in a friendly voice) “Wow, that’s really nice of you to assume I don’t have any friends.” (her) “Oh, no, that’s not what I mean.” (me) “I mean, I am wearing penguin slippers, so clearly I have friends.” (No, I didn’t take those off to answer the door. I showed them the full package… as in me not the full… you know what I mean.) I then asked which religious denomination she was with and she confirmed Jehovah’s Witness. I thanked her and said I’m an ordained pastor, so I wouldn’t be switching churches. She nervously laughed and said that’s okay and if I had any questions about the Bible she’d be happy to help. Again I thanked her, and pointed out I have a Masters in Theology, so I was pretty good with Bible knowledge. She then offered help with relationships and I said I was a marriage therapist… she was striking out hard with me. I then said how impressed I was that they have the courage and perseverance to go door to door and wished them luck. At my house, this pair didn’t win anyone to their cause, but I definitely gave them a story that didn’t involve a door slam. What were the odds of me being an ordained pastor with a Masters and also a marriage therapist?
In my early twenties when I was… not as socially aware as I am now I engaged in a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness pair (they were not 20… or attractive; the new marketing idea of attractive young people is much smarter). They said that the Bible is 100% true, but I disagreed because the Gospels give four different accounts of Jesus resurrection. They were appalled and ready to defend their stance and I was quick to say that it’s better they’re not the same because it means real people wrote these books with different goals in mind rather than an overly politically correct board of old people choosing what’s allowed in the censored version of the Bible. The differences make the Bible more real. This discussion didn’t go anywhere good because it left two parties feeling frustrated. I didn’t approach this conversation in a loving way.
The truth is how you see people will affect the way you behave. I used to see people and just be afraid of judgement and proving myself whereas now I realize that people generally want, above all, to love and be loved in return. When you see people as wanting love it’s easier not to be scared; it’s liberating. You don’t feel as attacked, which makes you better at controlling your anger and snap judgements. When you see people as wanting to love and be loved in return but sometimes doing it wrong, you’re able to forgive faster and appreciate their hearts. Most people have beautiful hearts, but their actions need retraining or at least some tweaking. The world is full of good intentions; we just need to help the intentions lead to good actions.
This week may you start to see the true hearts of people and the love that is desired.
Rev Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people