Tuesday, 23 August 2011


The doorbell rang this morning, 20 minutes before I needed to jump in the car and head off to a funeral, which I was taking. I hadn't changed out of my ripped jeans. A very neat, thin young man stood there on the step, with a pleasant young lady in tow. He greeted me politely and then proceeded to direct my attention to a folded A4 sheet he was carrying, which had various headers on it to do with the state of the world, humanity and spiritual questions. He asked if I ever thought about such things. I said I did. He asked if I owned a Bible. I said, "Many". He said I must be a man of faith. He obviously didn't know what "Manse" written in big bold letters above the number of our house meant. I asked him where they were from. "London". I immediately commiserated with them, not because of the recent riots, but because I couldn't help contrasting the highland beauty of here, with the  cosmopolitan landscape of there. I jumped to the conclusion that they were from a Bible College in London and were out doing some missionary field work. I hadn't read the small print at the bottom of his leaflet. We had a short pleasant chat about the importance of spiritual priorities and I asked them when they were heading back. They told me they would be leaving on Sunday. I said if they had time our church service started at 11.30am. The strange silence and very non engaging stare I received on the back of that was disconcerting. I had to terminate the conversation or I was going to be late, but I wished them well. I closed the door and searched the leaflet, finding at the bottom what I suspected. This was a "Watchtower Press" publication, otherwise known as the Jehovah's Witnesses. I felt sad. I wished I had had the presence of mind to say to him, across his empty stare on the back of my invitation, "Yes, isn't it sad when we find we are unable, for reasons of our own religious dogma, to accept the warm benign invitation of another honest seeker, to join them in worship." 

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