I had a somewhat bizarre morning.
The low fuel light dinged so I pulled into a station and was about to swipe my card at the pump when a car whips into the spot on the other side. Being the jaded person I have become my first though was “I wonder if they have one of those card scanning thingys!” You know… those readers that pick out your card number from the air? Anyway.. A lady jumps of the drivers side and rushes over to me with a pamphlet in hand. I don’t remember her first words but I shook my head and said “No, thank you.”
Then she says “Are you afraid? Because I used to be afraid!”
umm… of porn? (that was what the pamphlet was about)
I was slightly stunned but managed to say “No, I’m not afraid” (Que nervous laugh because I’m Still not sure if she’s referring to religion or porn)
Fill in with some obligatory banter about needing to read the material (it’s available online now) and how I go to church, but thanks, etc.
She jumps on the attending church thing. Apparently, she felt it built a kinship between us. Mrs. Witness stated then that she feared for those who didn’t believe in God.
I asked why. This must have been a mistake (or blessing?) Her response was something to the effect of “because they don’t Believe!”
uh huh… “Well it’s their right. Just because you and I believe in a higher power doesn’t make us right. Maybe there isn’t anything, but it’s nice to think there is.”
“But… they don’t BELIEVE.”
ummm “They don’t have to… It’s their god given right.”
This is about the time she scampered away as quickly as she came. To be fair she spoke quickly through the whole conversation so maybe she was cutting her losses and moving on to other unenlightened souls. Only so much time in a day you know.
But now I’m left with quite a few questions! I really wanted to know what she was afraid of. The porn? Or religion? Because I have a hypothesis about people who are afraid of religion! and zealots.
In short these are people who are afraid of commitments. Because (to me anyway) faith is like a relationship. You fall in love, have you honeymoon period, and then settle down with the boring long term stuff. If you’re comfortable and happy then it’s a perfect match and one day you’ll be celebrating your 50 years together and so on. If it sucks then you might still stick it out but you’ll be resentful in the end. Or, you’ll divorce your faith.Whether the separation is amicable or ugly depends on who is involved and the reasons for leaving. Just like any relationship there is an element of unpredictableness.
This fear of the unpredictable is what keeps some people from committing. When these people do commit though! Oh Boy. they fear losing what they found so much that they hold onto it tight and try to keep it just the way they found it. Exactly so because then it might get away and they won’t love it anymore, or it won’t love them. They can not let that happen! This is where zealots come from. They have to believe so blindly, so intensely, that there is no room in the their minds or the world for other beliefs.
Something most people don’t think about though is this… Faith require growth. It’s a living thing like plants, languages, and love. You can hold on tight or lock it up but then it won’t flourish. Eventually it will fade and die. There needs to be flexibility.. a degree of malleableness, or it will break.
So here I am wondering what this woman was afraid of and why she ran away so quickly. Maybe she really was just trying to scan my credit card number.