Many years ago, when your doorbell rang in North America, it was probably a door-to-door salesman,
someone trying to sell you the latest household gadget, something that was bound to transform your life, such as a vacuum cleaner powerful enough to not only clean your carpet, but also scare the bejesus out of your dog.
These days, when your doorbell rings, it’s probably one of three kinds of people: (1) politicians trying to get you to vote for them; (2) children selling candy to raise money for a school activity or other good cause; or (3) Jehovah’s Witnesses trying to save you from eternal damnation.
I got a visit from the latter this morning, a pair of determined fellas who were making the rounds despite bone-chilling weather. They were warmed by the spirit, I suppose. One of them asked if he could read a verse of scripture to me. "Sure," I said. Had they been salesmen, I would have probably said "no thanks" and closed the door. But I don’t like to mess with religious people, just in case they have hidden powers. These guys, for example, would probably have the power to get their entire congregation to ring my doorbell. I’d never get any sleep. So anyway, the guy read a verse of scripture, then handed me two magazines, The Watchtower and, as if to threaten me, Awake! "They’re very good magazines," the other guy said, as though he was trying to sell me a subscription. I nodded, took the magazines and said goodbye, wondering if I should put the magazines in the same place as I put the previous ones.
When I take my car for an oil change, they usually put a sticker on the windshield inscribed with the odometer reading, so I know when to have the next oil change. I wish the Jehovah’s Witnesses would do that — put a sticker on my door that says: "Last visited on March 1, 2008. Received a scripture reading and copies of the magazines." That way, I wouldn’t be due for another visit until March 1, 2009. And when that date rolls around, I could get my wife to open the door.
Photo by Dan Patterson