This story idea came from Nutsrok.wordpress.com.– a great blog to check out. Door-to-door solicitors can’t always be avoided. In my opinion, it’s best to face them head on. Don’t show weakness. Control the conversation. Ask probing, open-ended questions.
Salespersons are easiest to deal with–since, I’ve worked in sales most of my life. There aren’t many angles that I’ve not seen. First and foremost, they have to sell themselves. If someone appears desperate; uses the same stale clichés I’ve heard a thousand times; they’re not getting anywhere.
One of the lamest techniques, “I’ve been talking to some of your neighbors,” Says the pitchman (woman), “They really seem to like ‘XYZ Magic Purple,’ cleaning solution.”
I don’t waste any more time, send them on their way. If, I asked, “Which neighbor, was it? They’ll hem, haw, and stutter; come up with a name–a name, that can’t be disputed, from down the street, or around the corner. I’ve never, ever, known anyone, from these referral lists.
Solicitors, from religious organizations, are an entirely different matter. They come in groups, well-dressed, Bibles in hand, wandering through the neighborhood. Saturday, seems to be their day of choice. My two dogs won’t let them past the front door.
“We’d like to invite you to attend Sunday services with us at a local church (usually Protestant).” These solicitations are low-key and easy to deal with. One particular religious organization can be more persistent–they’re notorious for attempts to convert non-believers.
This past Saturday, I got caught in the front yard, by two young men from this group. Both were well-dressed, in starched white shirts and ties. “Hi, my name’s ‘Wayne,’ this is ‘Darrell.'” “We’ve been talking to some of your neighbors,” ‘Wayne said.
It was the same statement–re-purposed. “Why, what did they say about me?” “Who, was it?” That could have been my way out. Suspicious paranoia might have worked; it would have been too easy. I didn’t want to be typecast as the neighborhood nut case.
“Do you consider yourself a Christian?” “Yes,” I answered–prepared for what was to follow. “Did you know that current world events were prophesied in the Bible?” Darrell asked–followed by a plethora of scripture references. “Wayne and I would like to share some scriptural passages with you–if you have the time?”
“I’m kind of busy right now,” I answered. “My wife suffered a broken arm a few weeks ago. I’m helping with the housework.” “We’re so sorry to hear that,” They answered in unison.
“Don’t you think God’s plan for us is wonderful?” Wayne asked. “It certainly is mysterious,” I replied. I’ve mellowed over the years; met them head-on–with scriptural knowledge.
We discussed original sin, heaven and hell, celibacy of the priesthood, Jonah and the whale, Noah and the Great Flood, Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. Then, more sins, sinners, consequences of sins–temptations, temples, and the Ten Commandments. Moses, disobeyed God–didn’t get to enter the Promised Land; David had a tryst with Bathsheba, Sampson, had a fling with Delilah, and Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their wickedness.
Wayne and Darrell weren’t interested in Jesus Christ and the Resurrection. So, it was back to the opening question. “Was I familiar with Biblical prophecies about the end of the world?” “Yes,” I replied. “Gog and Magog, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse–Armageddon, the ultimate, final battle of good and evil.
“The Bible also mentions a great tribulation period in the final days,” I offered. “Do you guys think we are currently in that period of time?” They agreed, that it could, indeed, be possible. I followed with a probing question. “Or, is this wishful thinking of our finite human minds? Because, who really knows, whether this is the beginning of the end–or the end of the beginning? Only God knows.”
None of us had all the answers. “Would you like me and Darrell to come back later this evening–talk further about these matters?” Wayne asked. “I appreciate your concern. That won’t be necessary. God knows what’s in my heart. It’s been nice chatting with you.”
I was tired. Even though they didn’t say it–I think, they were, too. I was satisfied to leave it at that. By now, my wife wondered where I’d gone. I hid the religious literature under my arm–to no avail. “You shouldn’t have wasted your time,” She said. What she really meant, was–there was still a lot of housecleaning to do.