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Feb. 8,1999




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Morning calm disrupted by door-to-door religion

By H.G. Miller
Kansan columnist

hgmillerIf I recall correctly, it was a rather tranquil Sunday morning. Unable to sleep, I wandered into the main room of my apartment and fell on the couch. Through the missing teeth of the Venetian blinds, I could see the rising sun reflect off the frost on the early morning grass, a sight I would have considered beautiful had it not been so blinding.

I sat there for a while, deciding between television or radio, frosted cereal or instant breakfast, moving or remaining comatose on the couch. Soon enough, the decision was made for me as an even-paced knocking sound began emanating through the front door.

Assuming that some person on the other side of the door caused the sound, rather than some freaky paranormal occurrence, I pulled myself from the three-foot divot in the center of the couch and moved to answer the door.

While making the journey across the multi-colored stains permanently caked in the carpet, I began to wonder who it was that could be coming by so early on a Sunday morning, knowing that none of my friends were likely candidates for consciousness any time before noon.

I thought for a moment about the friendly student who had solicited me a week earlier. He seemed like a nice enough chap, smiling wide and telling me of the many opportunities available to him should he be entrepreneurial enough. Why, if I would only subscribe to a magazine or two, he could go to Europe.

Of course, I wouldn´t mind a trip to Europe myself, and I would rather subscribe to a magazine that sent me there, so I politely explained to him that I couldn´t read. Yes, I thought of him on the way to the door, along with my other visitors the past week — the foreign exchange student selling paintings and the blond girl running for some kind of office.

Looking through the peep hole, I saw that none of these people were waiting to see me. Rather, two pleasantly attired elderly people smiled at the door. Being in the confused state that always clouds my head in the early hours of the day, I immediately opened the door and said a friendly “Hello.”

I guess I should mention that I hadn´t dressed since waking up and wandering into the living room, and apparently my Bugs Bunny boxer shorts and pale-white chest took the couple by surprise. The lady gasped, and the man cleared his throat while hastily averting his eyes away.

Oh well, I figured it was too late to change the circumstances and, besides, I felt quite comfortable. So, I asked if I could help out these kind strangers. The lady mentioned something about the church they were from, and her partner quickly handed me a pamphlet. “What Would Jesus Do,” I think it said.

Jesus probably would have the cereal, I thought to myself.

“Do you worship anywhere?” the lady asked me.

I assume she meant going to a church, so I explained that I did not attend a specific church but chose to speak with God from such places as the bed, my car and the bathroom, usually promising not to eat any more spicy food, or drink a particular drink or talk to a certain female person ever again.

“So, you do believe in God, then?”

“Yes, of course.”

“You should stop by our congregation sometime,” the man suggested.

“God and I have a deal worked out,” I told them. “I don´t answer the door in the morning, and he leaves me alone. As you can see, I didn´t come through with my part of the bargain, and now he´s punishing me.”

With that statement, the couple got very offended and said some things that I didn´t believe were particularly Christian.

Oh well, I felt pretty good about my situation in life and suggested that they might want to save souls a little later in the day. For the time being, I needed to get some cereal and read about how Jesus would handle early-morning solicitations.

H.G. Miller is a Hutchinson senior in English



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