, Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments
In the south, we pride ourselves on our Southern
Hospitality. When people show up at our door, it is common to invite them in, offer them a cold drink or something to eat--we Southerners enjoy good eating. However, in the south if you see a group of people walking down the street with little pamphlets in their hands....well you can bet your ass it is either a group of Jehovah's witness folks out recruiting new members to their church or else, if there are two young men dressed in black trench coats and ties on a sweltering summer day, pushing a bike---well those are the Mormon Missionaries living out their faith. You have to admire them,
they don't wait until you arrive at the church to offer you a bit of their interpretation of the good news of the gospel.
I've been guilty of it and I'm sure others would have to raise their hands as well.....but there are times, I choose not to answer the door if I peep out the window and see a band of what looks like traveling missionaries camped out on my front porch. Every so often, though, be it the 'devil's advocate in me or on a day I really need to talk to an adult, but every once in a while---I answer the door and I do my best to listen and then engage with these folks who must have great faith.....I mean I typically don't go door to door delivering works of the Gospel--so I figure if someone is that passionate about their faith, the "Christian" thing to do is listen or at least take a pamphlet.
A couple of summers ago, I was home alone. It was a hot sweltering summer day....one of those "hotter than Satan sex" kind of days, and the door bell rang. I was running around the house in my wife beater white t-shirt and a pair of
sexy hot bloomers. I ignored the door bell on the first ring.
It kept on ringing....finally I went to the window on the second floor of our house, opened it up and yelled down at a group of about five people standing on my front porch.
"Hey what do y'all need?"
They looked up and said, "we'd like to give you this pamphlet about our church and talk to you a bit about faith."
I yell back...."Well, I'm not dressed this morning. You can leave the pamphlets in the door and I'll read them. If y'all want to come back sometime, I'd be happy to do some theological talking---there is nothing I enjoy more.....Y'all come back now...y' hear."
They leave and I proceed with my usual business of the day.
A couple of days pass and then one day without warning....
the doorbell starts a ringing......
"they were back....bible in hand and pamphlets galore"
It is another hot day and sweat is running down one man's head in little dripping droplets."
I smile and without hesitating,
"hey Y'all are back, why don't you go around to the back yard where we can sit down---I didn't want to invite them in my house----cause I wanted to be in charge of the time---
I'll be right out.
I go to the fridge, pull out some cold bottled water and head down for some good theological discussion.
I'm a bit excited and can feel my brain beginning to race.
We started off sharing a bit and I listened.
Once I started talking about panentheism (look it up if you don't know this word) and my understanding of the Mystery of faith,
well let's just say, they looked kinda like
a group of missionaries who
had suddenly been
invaded by a hungry troop of army ants...
before too long...
really only about five minutes...
the older man in the bunch
kindly thanks me for the water and the seat
"they had to be going".
I invited them back
I love a good discussion
a good theological wrestling match
I love breaking a crack into a nicely formed box
to let the Mystery of God
move into and out of the cracks.
Needless to say...
The Jehovah's witness's have not been back to my
The Pentecostal looking Baptists have come
with their strong men in black suites and
women with hair do's piled high like a beehive.
They didn't stay very long either...
once I prayed for them and
offered them a blessing on the front steps....
i love a good discussion,
enjoy a bit of company,
love being from the South,
if your into missionary work...
come on by
share your story...
As a good southerner...
I'll try not to run you off with my
I promise to offer you
a cool drink of water or diet Pepsi and
a place to sit---
it might be outside but it will be in the shade.
So there you have it...
I ran off the Jehovah's Witness crew...
I hope you have a wonderful night and
a fabulous day.
blessings and hugs....