“Knock Knock!” “Who’s There?”

A freaky religious nut! Happy proselytizing season, everyone!

Didn’t know the second week of June marked that celebration? Neither did I, until this week.

The evidence:

Tuesday evening – I was putting the mower away in the back yard, when my eye was caught by a rather large woman in a flowing dress walking down the sidewalk in the front of the house.

Moments later, Middle daughter came out the back door in shock, waving a tract. “A Jehova’s Witness just knocked on the door and gave me this!”

My response: “YOU OPENED THE DOOR?!? Have I taught you nothing in your 22 years of life? Rule number one: Never open the door when someone rings the doorbell unexpectedly.The proper procedure is to hide, watch from an upstairs window, and only show yourself after the intruder walks away.” Sheesh, how hard is that?


Wednesday evening – A woman and her son rang our doorbell as I stood in the living room, clearly visible through the front picture windows. No chance of escape. Deep irony, after Tuesday’s rant.

Reeling, I opened the door, prepared to say a polite “no” to whatever they were selling. But the first word out of the mom’s mouth: “We’re from Mount Olive Lutheran Church. May we just ask you two questions?”

You know immediately what’s coming, right? But first, a bit of background. Mount Olive Lutheran, just a few blocks from our home, is a congregation of the WISCONSIN synod of the Lutheran Church. More of a sect, really than a denomination. Picture a sanctuary in which men must sit on one side and women on the other. Congregations in which women cannot vote or hold office, let alone be ordained. In other words, BACKWARDS.

Luckily, my answer to the mom’s first question shut down the conversation right off.

Q: “Do you have a church home?”

A: “As a matter of fact, we just got home from a city-wide event at our congregation, put on by Metropolitan Lutheran  Ministries. Are you familiar with that organization?” Cue head shake and clueless look on the mom’s face. “It’s one of the largest local social service agencies, a joint effort of many Lutheran congregations throughout the city. Tonight’s event was held at our home congregation, where I’ve been on staff for twelve years.” I point to this year’s Vacation Bible School t-shirt, which I’d worn to the event that evening, and continued, gently closing the door, “But have a lovely evening.”

Can’t help but wonder what these door-to-door solicitors really think they’re going to accomplish. Has there ever been a person who was so moved by an interloper at the door that they “saw the light” right there on the spot? I’m thinking not. There must be a million more practical ways for these people to use their time and energy. No matter how sincere they are, they’re hopelessly misguided.

Waiting with great curiosity, wondering what this evening will bring. Maybe a pair of Mormons?

How do you plan to celebrate the season?





3 thoughts on ““Knock Knock!” “Who’s There?”

  1. LOL! What a wonderfully comprehensive answer you had to her question – no wonder she skulked away without even attempting question 2!

    I usually use your pretend-we’re-not-home strategy (made even easier since my house doesn’t even have a doorbell.). When my wife gets approached by sidewalk proselytizers near work, she replies, “My father was Jewish, my mother’s Catholic, I married a Protestant, and I’m gay.” She doesn’t get follow-up questions either. 🙂

    It’s sad that there’s such a conservative and isolated Lutheran sect, that this woman didn’t even know about the umbrella ministry the other Lutherans are doing.


  2. When I was in college, I used to feel very vulnerable when I was approached by other students who questioned my religious status. I used to do the “bury your head in a book and act like you can’t hear” act. Then, when I was at home with my kids, I started to get a little braver. One day when two lovely women showed up at my door to make sure I was in a good way, religiously, I opened the door wide, with true interest in what they were up to. We chatted a moment and then they spied a religious object in my home. Next thing I knew, it was me telling them about my religious observance, sharing things they had never learned. When they left, several minutes later, they’d forgotten to leave me any literature!!

    Liked by 1 person

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