Monday, April 05, 2010

The JWs and Me

You know how in the old days tramps would put a little chalk mark on the gate of a sympathetic housewife so other tramps would know where to go to ask for a sandwich?

Well, I think the Jehovah's Witnesses have tagged me.

They've been coming for a long time--years, I'd guess. This one lady always, always came when I was in the middle of something--grilling hamburgers with smoke billowing like a field fire; ready to fly out the door to go speak somewhere; something. She always seemed surprised that I was busy. Helloooo? I always grill this many hamburgers, I always have things to do. But she didn't seem to get this.

This was also the era of the black-skirted women who kept smiling even though Hansie the huge shedding dog kept going around and around them and they went to the car with their skirts liberally decorated with yellow hairs.

Then we transitioned to the one-armed woman, who has never mentioned the fact that she has only one arm, even though when she first came she had two, I'm almost positive, and when she first came with only one I don't think I caught a thing she said because I was so distracted.

Somewhere in this era Paul happened to go to the door one day and had a discussion with them as only a Smucker can discuss. Loud and logical. But they kept coming and hinted that they would rather talk with me than Paul.

Now it's always the one-armed woman and a friend, seemingly one that she's training in.

Until this past Saturday. There was a knock on the BACK door, and there was a whole new pair of Jehovah's Witnesses, a man and lady in their 60s.

They really have me flagged, I know it.

They asked my name and the lady exclaimed, "Oh, I love that movie!" I looked a bit bewildered and then she said, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and I said, "Ah, yes," and then the conversation went to spiritual things, because the Jehovah's Witnesses do not chat about carnal things like movies and recipes and such.

But they always talk about things we agree on. They quote Scripture I know by heart myself. They talk about serving God and loving others and all Scripture being inspired of God and how Christians shouldn't go to war.

So they say stuff and quote Scripture, and I say mmm-hmmm and half-heartedly try to call Hansie off, and then eventually they leave.

So why do they keep coming?

Pete L. from church who is gifted in personal evangelism once gave a talk on dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses and had all kinds of brilliant ideas on things to say and questions to ask and winning arguments. But when I try to say anything to them I only get to "um" and they smoothly segue into the next point.

"You are not Pete," says Amy, who thankfully doesn't expect me to be.

Why do they keep coming? That's what I keep wondering. Are they trying to convert me? If so, why do they keep talking about things we agree on? Do they get points for talking to me? I'm happy to supply them with points, but not at the expense of burnt hamburgers.

And haven't they caught on that there's no chance they're going to make me turn JW?

I would enjoy getting to know them as people, because I find people fascinating and I like making friends. But except for brief comments about Hansie or 7B47B or hamburgers, the conversation almost never goes off into normal everyday stuff that shows who they really are.

I asked Pete the expert what their agenda is when they come to my house. He rebuked me sharply and said it doesn't matter what their agenda is. What matters is what my agenda is.

Well. What IS my agenda? I'd love to convert them all but am not making any progress at this, never being able to get past "um."

I don't have the slightest desire to win an argument or debate or even to get into one. And I don't want to be nasty.

Should I ask them not to bother coming here? Should I get Paul involved when they show up?

Or, just to see what happens, should I interrupt the reading of Scripture and ask that lady just what exactly happened to her arm?

Quote of the Day:
"God's Grace and a Good Husband can get you through just about anything."
--Bernice T.


  1. Number one advice from me is pray about it...

    The quote of the day is a winner!

  2. I tried giving a tract to a JW and they refused... I was told I need to come to their door to give it to them, so I got their address and, with my husband by my side, I did just that. : ) They were in the middle of living their lives too (LOL) so I didn't stay longer than handing them the tract, making a few polite/neighborly comments. Now whenever one comes to my door I interrupt them immediately with the fact that I'm convinced that what I have is better, and would love to share it with them. They may stay and listen, or they may take their leave, because I already know what they believe, and I'm not going to listen. Not those words exactly, but they usually leave politely.

  3. This is a great post. You've said what everybody else is thinking. -) I think. We live back in a looong farm lane. But sometimes the JW's still find us. We used to have a big yellow lab named Freddy. The most he would likely do to any friend or stranger alike, besides bark, was lick them to death with joy and gladness.
    But the JW's didn't know that. He would effectively keep them in their cars. And we would let him. I miss Freddy. :)

  4. Oh yes, I think the JWs have me marked down too. There used to be an elderly man that would come by and once he walked out to the back yard where I was hanging up my undies. Now there is a woman that shows up, and I have actually hid in the bedroom to avoid them. I think they suspected it, because they left pamphlets that time which they don't usually do if I'm not at home. I have also been busy getting ready to leave the house and when I see that car my spirits sink.
    Sometimes I scan through the pamphlets they hand out and the last time I noticed two stories with big differences from our Anabaptist beliefs. One was on divorce and remarriage and the other on heaven. I also don't have the guts to tell them to find someone else to visit even though I would love if they would do just that. If you think of a non-confrontational remedy, let me know!

  5. Saturday morning they showed up at our door,and due to sleepin in and a new baby..I still wasn't dressed! My kids were horrified that I refused to answer the door,specially since I'm sure they noticed the 3 children staring out the window at them:),but it's still my home and I grow weary of debating with them,specially in my jammies! Now my husband thoroughly enjoys going round and round with them about sin and hell! You could try falling to your knees in a fervent Dad tried that and they ran:) Just curious,this older couple,were they driving a red van? One thing I will give them...they are committed to their beliefs and witnessing..we would do well to learn from them!

  6. A few years ago there was a series of young Mormon missionaries who came to my door. After I told them I wasn't interested, they'd invariably ask if there was anything they could do for me. One particularly rough day when my baby with acid-reflux was screaming her head off and the three year old was having a "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day" the missionaries showed up and wanted to talk. I couldn't hear much of what they were saying and when they asked if there was anything they could do to help me, I was extremely tempted to hand them the children and tell them I'd be back in an hour. Of course I wouldn't have done that, but the thought of the possibility and the shocked looks on their faces made the whole experience worthwhile!

    Do you think JW can flip the burgers for you?

  7. Def. ask what happened to the arm! Yes, I think you should!

  8. For a while I had a notice pinned to my door which said: unsiolicited door~knockers will be eaten by dragons.

    My children were charmed. They knew I was said dragon but the picture with it was too much & they removed my sign for their own purposes. As we lived on an island at the end of a long windy dirt road I had hopes they would never find us again ~ but they did! Unbelievable. I let my Dearest deal with them. I have no time for them because they only want to talk, never listen & what on earth is the point of that?!

  9. I say you interrupt the one sided discussion with, "Say, was the dog that got your arm bigger or littler than Hansie?!"

  10. LOL over this post :-)
    We get the JWs and the Mormons in a steady stream. For once I'm glad to say in my (very broken) Spanish that I only "hablo un poco espaƱol" -- probably the ONLY time I'm glad I can't talk!

    My husband got into a discussion with the JWs shortly after we moved here and the younger one was clearly out of his depth. The older one cut the conversation short and we watched as they moved up the street a bit and then stood there a long time while the older one was obviously trying to shore up the younger. Amusing in a not very funny way.