This morning we went out from house to house to distribute glossy paper door hangers. We are not fond of said door hangers when found on our own front stoop, but our church has joined in to spread the word about I AM SECOND. Volunteers were needed, so here we serve despite our personal feelings of dislike for the assorted flyers, coupons, and ads that get hung on the front door. I figure it is worthwhile to offer people the web address for I AM SECOND whether they choose to visit our church or not during the series of messages that tie into the site's vignettes. In the days when we avoided places of religious observation, such a site would have perhaps attracted at least a random visit. If even a few of the recipients of our morning's efforts visit our church, visit any church, or check out the web site, the time was well spent.
Concerned that the task at hand might have neither purpose nor fruit, I nevertheless chose to approach each house with my small offering. Toward the end of the first neighborhood, I stood at a front door of an obviously empty house for a moment before deciding not to place a hanger on that door where it was unlikely anyone would find it soon. As I turned to walk toward the next house, a woman in sweats and a pony tail burst from the house just next door to the empty home. She ran down her driveway shouting at me and waving the door hanger so recently left with a desire to offer her hope. Uh-oh. Angry Lady informed me that she had a church home and I had better take that door hanger back. (I took it. And said, "Thank you.") Angry Lady was apparently not only offended by my offer of an alternate church, but furious in her belief that I had perhaps left such at the vacant home next door. (Yeah, that would be the one where I opted not to leave one.) She was howling down the moon, standing in the middle of the street, and pointing at the empty house as I took a couple of slow steps backward and decided the same sort of quite voice used for dealing with a hormonal twelve-year-old was in order. "Ma'am? If you would look, you will see that I did not place a door hanger on the empty house's door. Since I did not leave one there, I cannot remove it." At this point, my mister had noticed the commotion from the opposite cul-de-sac and observed the exchange between AL and I. She turned and huffed back across the street toward her house having addressed the various offenses which drew her from her den.
Wanting nothing more than to flee, I instead forced myself to finish the two houses remaining on the cul-de-sac. I caught my mister up on exactly what all the flap was about as we walked away from the neighborhood. We both wondered what church AL attends--- and just what in the world happened to get her morning off to such a rotten start. And I made very sure that there was a sincere smile on my face and a cheerful greeting for each person we encountered thereafter.