I was pacing around the house as I often do while talking on the phone.
We were discussing the Cleveland Browns’ options in the upcoming NFL Draft in April.
And that’s when I noticed them next door.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses.
They usually catch me when I’m outside mowing the grass, it seems. I’m always polite. I always try to be respectful and listen to what they have to say.
No matter what you believe, you have to admire people who are willing to risk rejection, mockery, rudeness, and much more for the sole purpose of trying to help you find peace. Salvation.
I admire it so much because I don’t think you would ever catch me doing something like that. I didn’t even like calling people for interviews when I was a newspaper reporter.
This morning was different, though. I was on the phone. I have a bunch of things to do. And it’s literally 12 degrees outside. In the sunshine. That’s Fahrenheit. That’s cold as shit. Icy shit. Shitcicles.
“Great. J-Dubs,” I muttered.
“What?” my friend on the phone asked.
“Door-to-door Jehovah’s Witness evangelists are out on the sidewalk. I haven’t shoveled my driveway or walk, so it will be interesting to see whether they brave it. I’m going to go hide in the back of the house until they go away,” I said.
My friend laughed.
“It’s got to be really cold just standing there on the porch, so I’m sure they won’t stay long,” I said.
I continued my phone conversation, pacing around my home office and down the hall to the guest bedroom and back again, out of the view of anyone outside the front of my house.
Wow. That’s a lot of dedication from the J-Dubs to be out on such a cold day sharing their messages of hope and goodwill. I really should have invited them in for coffee or hot chocolate, I thought, as my friend and I continued to kick around possible Cleveland Browns draft pick or trade options.
After several minutes, I wandered thoughtlessly into my kitchen to a place with a direct line of sight to right outside my front door where two ladies were standing.
They were frozen, because it’s literally an icebox out there.
She looked up.
Our eyes locked.
She had a furry, insulated hood pulled around her head. But she still looked cold.
I looked like a bum in old jeans, a fleece, and my hat gangsta’d to the side.
She stared in. Please come to the door. I need to tell you about Jesus.
I stared back. Oh shit. This is awkward.
“The Jehovah’s Witness lady just saw me,” I said into the phone.
“She did? What did you do?” he said.
“We made eye contact, then I just turned around and hid in the back of the house some more.”
“They looked really cold.”
And now I have to go outside and shovel my driveway because I can’t get my snowblower to start.
I feel certain the Jehovah’s Witnesses will find me out there.
I’ll be swearing, muttering horribleness under my breath as I glance over at my lifeless machine.
They’ll hand me pamphlets. An invitation. Promise prayers.
And I’ll remember a mostly unknown Gym Class Heroes song I like:
“Maybe I would be a fool to think
“That somewhere in the sky’s a place for me.
“What good would it be to pray for me?
“You won’t save me. Don’t pray for me.”
But I won’t really mean that.
I have faith.
Even when my wife leaves.
Even when my face is frozen.
Even when the Cleveland Browns always lose.
Even when my snowblower won’t start and I have to shovel mountains of snow.
“Sorry God. I didn’t mean to be crappy to the J-Dubs. But honestly? I just want to get this bullshit shoveled so I can go make chili.”