o“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians 4:5-6 NLT
We live in a centralized location with our town sandwiched between three other similar sized cities. With affordable housing and a variety of cultures, things stay pretty interesting; but if that isn’t enough, our home is situated in an easy to walk around neighborhood in middle class suburbia making it the dream stop location for every Jehovah’s Witness and door to door salesman.
Unless we know who is dropping by Thorntonville, sometimes there is hesitation when answering the door, along with the temptation to just not answer at all (which happens time to time). There have been several times since we’ve lived here that we would have missed out on some great people and treats if we hadn’t of answered. Like, every time a neighbor returned our Houdini dog and we made a new friend in the process, or my favorite- the surprise pie being delivered from across the street because the recipe made two and they only wanted the one (Best neighbors EVER!).
One hot summer night the doorbell ring wasn’t the dog being returned or a delicious pie. It was a young man selling magazines. Dark hair with green eyes, he was a handsome kid who had signed up with a door to door company, because he needed money and they promised him his life would change in the process. I guess in a way… it did.
Delivered in a van to the entrance of our neighborhood, he ended up at our front door. After the initial awkward opening of why he was selling magazines he shared his brochure covered with titles. I had no intention of purchasing more magazines but this poor kid looked frightened. So I smiled and said we couldn’t even read all the magazine we already subscribed to. Then asked if I could bring him a glass of water, to which he accepted. Closing the door while retrieving the water, I told my husband about the young man and we both prayed for him. Returning, he drank the water, politely thanked me and left for the next house.
About thirty minutes later, the boy returned to knock again. He said, “Ma’am, I ran away from home and my cell is broken, I need to call my momma.” He tried to fight back tears as he explained the company he had signed on to work for wasn’t going to pick him up until he sold his quota, and selling wasn’t working out for him. He just wanted to go home.
I could’ve shut the door at this point in fear, not believing his story. But my heart said I couldn’t. I took a second to pray and trusted that God knew what he was up to. Bringing my husband into the conversation, we invited the young man into our kitchen while he called his family.
While speaking to his mom, we overheard the discussion of plans being made. After the phone call, he looked like he knew what he needed to do and took the first step into action. He shook our hands, (I couldn’t help but hug and tell him we’d be praying for him.) stepping forward with tears and fear removed and his shoulders up a little higher, he walked with a humbled air of maturity beginning to surface.
Hearing the news of the Florida night club shootings and other similar stories makes me want to lock the door and not trust people. But in doing so, I wouldn’t be an effective spreader of God’s love. After all I can’t share love if I won’t get close enough to others to share it. There are lots of frightening things beyond my door. People, I don’t understand and evil I pray I never encounter. It is so easy to keep the locks secured and live afraid never daring to open; but then I will have missed the point of living. I, also, will have missed out on lots of wonderful people who just need a little encouragement. There are so many people in need who don’t mean to be frightening. They are just scared, like the boy and… like me. So with a prayer for wisdom, I usually open the door and attempt to be kind trusting God to deliver me through.