She was short and stout, and her face showed her years. Hair was tied in a scarf, and the wind blew her skirt around shoes made for those who’ve walked this earth a little while longer than the rest of us.
She wanted to know if she should come in, on account of the free range chickens at her feet. I said I was rushing off to an appointment.
“Aren’t there usually two of you?” I asked.
“She’s in the car,” she said. Those pesky chickens!
She pulled a pamphlet from something resembling an old fashioned doctor’s satchel. “Would you like some literature?”
“No, thank you,” I smiled. “I could read it if I wanted to, but you’re not allowed to read whatever I give you.”
“It’s not that I’m 'not allowed' to,” she said. “I just only want to read the truth.”
“And what is the truth?” I asked.
“God will restore His Kingdom and bring peace to the earth.”
“I would agree with that. But that God you speak of, His name is Jesus.”
“No it isn’t. He never claimed to be God.”
“Then what made the High Priest tear his robes and cry ‘Blasphemy?’ Even secular historians agree it was a claim to deity. That was the grounds of his execution.”
“That isn’t true.” A breeze blew through the door I held open. I was running late. She stuffed the paper back into her bag.
“And what about Isaiah forty? Who was ‘the voice crying in the wilderness'?” I asked.
“John the Baptist.”
“Yes. Prepare ye the way of Jehovah.”
“And when the prophecy was fulfilled, and John said that, who came on the scene?”
“Yes. Jesus is Jehovah.”
Her eyes grew wild. “No, he isn’t.”
We quickly agreed to stop the vicious cycle of disagreement and I wished her a good day. She left.
Later, I’m reflecting on the visit. I wish I’d had time to let her in. I hope I would have taken her coat, put away her bag, and made some tea. I would have sat with her at my table. Asked if she had kids. Grandkids. A husband. Asked if she’d ever worked outside the home. How long she’s lived here. What parts of the world she’s seen. And if she’d ever raised chickens.
I wished I’d asked what she fears. Hopes for. Dreams of. And I’d like to think that eventually I could have taken her wrinkled hands and said, “God loves you enough without the numbers. No amount of knocking on doors could improve on the way He looks at you, longs for you.”
Maybe I’d never earn that kind of trust. But I wish I could have gotten to know her. I wish I’d thought to invite her back when I had more time.
Time to just be someone different.
(image credit: www.canva.com)