I work as a delivery supervisor for an office supply company. When we’re heavy or things are busy, I sometimes fill in as a cover driver. A couple of weeks ago, I made a delivery to someone’s house. A lady answered the door, I placed the box inside, thanked her, and started to leave when she introduced herself to me. I think her name was Amy. People rarely introduce themselves to delivery drivers, since the nature of the relationship is often so short-lived (it’s like introducing yourself to the cashier at McDonald’s). So I was a little surprised, but being polite, I smiled, shook her hand, and told her my name as well.
“Well, I just finished spending my quiet time with the Lord, and I wanted to tell you how important it is to have a relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ,” she said. “You know, this world throws a lot at us, and it’s important that we can rely on the Lord’s guidance.”
So here I am, an atheist who has gone through an agonizing deconversion over the last two years that affects everything in my personal life. I write a blog that details all the problems I have with Christianity and religion in general. But I’m also a representative of my company, and I’m interacting with a customer. Not to mention I have an extremely busy day ahead of me. So do I tell her what I think about her “private time with the Lord”?
Nope. I just couldn’t do it. If it were any other setting, I think I would have taken the bait. But there were just too many reasons not to engage. So I smiled and nodded, but just didn’t comment much until I felt like I could leave. It was a strange feeling. And as I looked at her vacuous blue eyes and unsettling smile, I wondered if I looked similar when I used to talk to people about my Christian beliefs.
On another note, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Things have been absolutely crazy at work. January is usually our busiest time of the year, but this was the worst I’ve seen in the 9 years I’ve been doing it. Things are starting to settle down, but next week, my wife and I are taking the kids to Disney World! So I probably won’t post anything else until we’re back and settled.
6 thoughts on “Witnessing”
What’s funny is Amy probably feels great about the fact that she “planted a seed”, in your heart, and she’s likely been praying for you ever since (I’m sure you can feel it :)).
Have fun at Disney with your family!
Just wanted to let you know that I still read and enjoy your blog even though I haven’t posted in a long time. Hope you have a great vacation!
That made me laugh. This sort of experience is extremely similar to a multitude of conversations I had in junior high and high school. The religion/denomination of the person didn’t matter. They were excited and eagerly wanted to share some story and “save me” from the nine levels of hell (or whatever they saw in my future).
I don’t have any sort of deconversion in my background, so it was far easier to listen, nod my head politely and move on with life. Since junior high, I’ve never taken that bait again. You did the smart thing.
Glad you are going to get a break, and I know the family will absolutely love the trip to Disney! While inconvenient, what the lady was trying to do mirrors what you do here online, her version was just way more intimate and personally confrontational. I’ve had Jehovah’s Witness groups or Mormons come by my house in the past, most of the time I’m not in the mood to argue with them, however I respect what they are doing and try to be poliet. Which knowing you I’m sure you were more than nice to the lady, and I know part of the reason why is you understand what she is doing is comming from a sincere desire and concern for you.
The biggest thing I think i’ve learned is the best witness is one that needs no words. Our actions will always speak louder than anything we try and say. I’ve worked part time as a pizza delievery guy and I can’t tell you the number of rude, non tiping customers i’ve dealt with that have bible verses on their front door or inside of their foyer.
Take care and tell Mickey we said hey!
Thanks everyone! We had a great time on our vacation — now, we’re just trying to get back into the swing of things…
Angie — great to hear from you again!
Matt — I completely agree with your comment. Examples do speak much louder than words. Very good point!