Yesterday, the doorbell rang around 10 AM. We’re still staying with my in-laws during our (perpetually delayed) home repair, so we assumed my father-in-law had bought another boatload of crap from Amazon. We didn’t see a truck. But we did see the silhouette of two figures behind the textured glass. So, we opened the door.
A seven-foot-tall man wearing a tie and a straw hat stood there. He introduced himself and his son, a lanky young boy with his tie tucked into his pants, as volunteers. He wore a welcoming smile as he asked us whether we believed we could live forever. My boyfriend replied, “I hope so,” as I stood back to observe the interaction.
The tall man held up his tablet, read the displayed Bible passage, and asked, “Do you believe eternal life is possible?” My boyfriend responded, “Yes, if longevity medicine stays on course.” The tall man’s smile grew, “Ah, you’re a man of science.” The conversation continued. He wanted to introduce us to the Bible and help us come to trust the Bible. He offered to provide us a series of three one-on-one sessions in our home, where we could become familiar with the Bible and it’s teachings about everlasting life.
At that point, I think we both realized he was volunteering on behalf of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet, we were both intrigued by his pitch. We were raised Catholic, and we both became disenchanted with the church in our teens due to the numerous unpunished scandals. We both still pray independently, and we both long for the sense of community we had in our youth. This man’s words and demeanor were scratching that itch.
I don’t have any plans to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses at this point, but the interaction has admittedly reignited some primal longing for God, community, and moral guidance. It has forced us to think about our current belief system and our current lack of spiritual community. As corrupt as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was during my youth–including priests within my own church and schools–there was an effusive feeling of community. Some days, I crave that desperately. Were we to have children, I would want that type of spiritual community for them. Thus, perhaps, it’s an important topic for me to begin thinking about.
I don’t watch basketball, nor do I follow the NBA. We only looked up the name on the business card because the smiling man in the straw hat was too tall not to have been an athlete. Sure enough, we spent our Saturday morning chatting with NBA star about eternal life. And now, I can’t stop thinking about.