Yesterday morning around 11 o’clock, someone knocked on my door. I figured it was the neighbor’s kid. She and my kid like to hang out on the weekends. So, I didn’t look out the window before opening the door. It turns out, it wasn’t a kid at all. It was a woman, I’m not sure how old. Older than I am but younger than my parents. She greeted me warmly and politely. I responded in kind. Then, she got right to the point and asked me if I go to church.
I replied, “No.”
“Have you ever gone to church?”
“Not since I was a kid,” I answered. I didn’t add that it was a Unitarian meeting house, which she probably wouldn’t count as a church.
Then she asked me something that caught me a little off guard. She said, “Are you sure you will be spending an eternity in heaven?”
Not knowing quite how to answer, I simply said no again.
She commented that I didn’t seem too concerned about it. I shrugged. Next, she explained that most people believe that as long as they do more good than bad, they will go to heaven, but that’s not the case. The only way to get into heaven, she told me, is to accept Jesus wholeheartedly as your lord and savior. I just nodded.
Finally, she asked if she could give me something. I said yes (it seemed like the polite thing to do). She took what I thought was a small pamphlet out of her pocket. I opened the screen door, and she handed it to me. I thanked her and she requested that I have a blessed day. Then she left. The whole interaction was less than five minutes.
After she left, I took a closer look at the pamphlet, which wasn’t a pamphlet at all. It was a comic book called “This Was Your Life”. It started with a man eating, drinking, and being merry. Right after, he died and was called to judgement. They reviewed all the sins he had committed in life. The most egregious of which were apparently lust (finding a woman attractive) and being bored in church. His name did not appear in the Book of Life, and he was sent to Hell.
Then there’s a section called “This CAN Be Your Life”. You can probably guess, but this section shows a righteous man. He is repentant, hardworking, and has accepted Jesus. He gets into Heaven.
Throughout the comic book are Bible quotes. In the first half, they are all about how much God hates sinners. In the second half, they are all about how God loves the righteous. They are all taken wildly out of context, but how much rigor can we expect from a comic book?*
I think most people would have found the whole thing annoying, but I found it sweet. It was a low-pressure pitch. Never did she say, and the comic didn’t either, what church to go to. The woman seemed to really care. She believed that my soul was in danger and wanted to do something about it. It’s quite thoughtful in its way.
Anyway, I think I went into the conversation with an open mind, but she failed to change it. I will continue to eat and try to be merry. (I don’t drink anyway and I’m not planning on starting.) I’m probably not going to church any time soon. I’ll just do my best to be a good person and hope that’s enough.
*This has nothing to do with anything, but reading the back, it makes a real point of saying you should read the King James Version of the Bible. I’ve never understood the obsession with the KJV. Yes, the language is beautiful and most of the famous quotes are taken from it. But much more accurate translations have been done in the last several hundred years. I just find it odd.