Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Being A Witness

Yesterday, in the mid afternoon of my day off, I was sitting relaxing at my kitchen table. I was feeling a bit tired, and while a book was in front of me, life seemed to be moving in a siesta direction.

I had just about come to the determination that it was time to go curl up for a refreshing Jeffersonian nap when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Moving down the sidewalk in groups of two were staidly dressed women bearing clipboards laden with tracts.

Jehovah's Witnesses. Gah.

Normally, I'm more than up for an exchange with the Witnesses. My last visit from them was really very satisfying. Being able to elicit the words "Um...ah...I really need to be going" from a Jehovah's Witness makes having a graduate degree in theology quite worth while.

But yesterday, I wasn't up for theologizing. I was tired, and as the women came to the door, I contemplated pretending I wasn't there. The dog started barking. I contemplated further.

Finally, I heaved myself up, and went to the door. I offered up a warm, smiling greeting, and assured the two ladies that the madly wagging Ellie only wanted to be friends and play. We exchanged some small talk about dogs, as my dog tried to scrabble through the screen. They asked if I'd be willing to take a flyer...and I said..."Sure." I opened up the door, took a leaflet, and then bid the two women a very good day.

It was a gentle, pleasant, hospitable exchange.

Of course, if they come back, I'm rested and ready for a pleasant exchange of views. But in that moment, despite my mid-afternoon haze, it felt strangely right to be nothing more and nothing less than gracious to these human beings.