This morning a Jehovah's Witness knocked on our door. My wife answered the door as I was still getting dressed and had yet to put my shoes and socks on! I had been praying for a JW to visit since we had
[Right: Front cover of the The Watchtower, July 1, 2012, which the JW spoke to me on and left with me.]
downsized to a smaller house a little over a year ago.
As previously mentioned, following a home `Bible' study with a JW elder, which he abandoned because I was undermining his JW beliefs, my previous house was evidently blacklisted, because JWs would go past in the street ignoring my house, even when I was out the front and said "good morning" to them!
From our bedroom I heard my wife talking with someone at the front door and then, from what I could hear, I realised it was a JW. Afraid that my wife would send him away, as she had done before (this was not the first JW visit to our current house, but the first in which I had been home), I came to the door fully dressed except for bare feet!
There was a young man in a suit whom I estimate was in his thirties, holding a Bible and I could see other overdressed adults and children in the street behind him, laughing (presumably under orders from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society to always pretend to be happy when out on `field service'). My wife retreated from the door and left him to me. He introduced himself as "AN" (not his real name or initials but I want to minimise the chance that a JW will read this and tip off him or his Kingdom Hall's elders). I invited AN inside but he said "no."
He asked me if I believed in a God who answered prayer and I said "yes." I had resolved that if a JW was to come to my door to let him talk and I would listen to him as much as possible (very hard for me!), and to keep my answers low-key and to volunteer the bare minimum about myself. This was so that I would not drive him away and then my house would be blacklisted again. All through I looked him in they eyes, smiled and was friendly.
He then asked me, as someone who believed in a God who answered prayer, if I wondered why there was so much suffering in the world and I said "yes." He then opened the above Watchtower magazine, and turned to a page, ensuring I was reading along with him, and read out the following:
"Even though they may pray some people have doubts that God exists. Perhaps it is because they see so much suffering in this world. Have you ever wondered why God allows suffering? Did God really make humans as they are now - imperfect and subject to suffering? We could hardly respect a God who would purpose for humans to suffer. But consider: this if you walked admiringly around a new car only to find that the far side was damaged would you assume that the manufacturer made it that way? Of course not! You would conclude that the manufacturer made it `perfect' and that someone or something else caused the damage. ... The Bible teaches that God made the first human pair perfect but that later they caused themselves to become damaged (Deuteronomy 32:4, 5). The good news is that God has promised to repair the damage to restore obedient humans to perfection." ("Why Does the Hearer of Prayer Allow Suffering?," The Watchtower, July 1, 2012).
AN asked me if I agreed with that and I said I did. He looked a bit puzzled, as though this was too easy! He then asked me if I had a Bible and I said "yes." Then he asked me if I was a firm believer in God and again I said "yes." I would not be surprised if AN suspected that I was a Christian, but what is he to do? Not make a return visit to any householder who agrees with him on everything?!
AN then asked me if I wanted a free copy of his Watchtower magazine and I said "yes" (being well aware that should mark me as warranting a return visit). He then handed me the magazine (I later found that it had the July 2012 Awake! inside it). I asked AN what his name was again and when he told me I repeated it, so that I would remember it, if he calls again (which I will now pray daily for). AN then shook my hand and left.
I have called this part "#1" in case this is the first of a series of visits by AN.