Be ready for that knock on your door
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
When my parents bought the house I grew up in, we had few neighbors. Ours was one of the only houses in the neighborhood and, across the street, there wasn't anything but a grassy field.
That all changed one day when an area church bought the property and began constructing a large building. Each day, we would watch as workers built up the walls and interior and finally, added the cross to the building's exterior.
The people started pouring in to the new church. Soon, they had full Sunday services, Wednesday night activities and Monday night visitation.
Our family, which attended a church across town, was familiar with the Monday night visitation. Because we were located directly across the pasture from the church, we were the first stop on every Monday's visitation schedule.
Each Monday, usually around 7 p.m., someone would knock on our door and ask to come in and talk to us about the Lord.
"We thank you so much," my mother would say. "We're Christians and are happy at our current church. I believe you all visited us last week. But I do appreciate it."
Every week was the same. The doorbell would ring just as we would be sitting down to dinner. My mother would go through the same speech and, occasionally, send them to our neighbors who she probably thought should be convicted by the Lord for not mowing their lawn often enough.
Eventually, the church members started spreading out their visitation patterns, branching out into other neighborhoods. Our house was off the visitation list.
That was about 20 years ago. I didn't know churches still did visitation until recently, when a pair knocked on my door. It was an older man and a young boy who was no taller than the man's knee but was proudly wearing a gray "big-boy" suit, complete with clip-on tie.
I heard my mother's speech coming out of my mouth: "We thank you so much. We're Christians and are happy at our current church. But I do appreciate it."
Just this weekend, Greg called me to report he, too, had been visited.
Two teenagers showed up at his doorstep on a Saturday afternoon, just as he was installing his new dryer.
"I answered the door and thanked them for stopping by but said I was right in the middle of something," he told me. "They smiled and left. It was then I turned around and looked in the mirror. I had on an old, white t-shirt and torn jeans. My hair was going everywhere and I hadn't shaved. To make things worse, I looked down and realized my zipper was broken. They probably think I'm some sort of weirdo."
"Yep," I said. "You just moved to the top of the prayer list."