Late one summer morning, an unexpected car pulls into the drive. I don’t recognize the vehicle. It proceeds slowly down and comes to a stop in front of the barn. This arrival is a big surprise, as we live in the middle of nowhere. The only strangers who show up on the doorstep are the lost. Lucky for them I have some good directions.
Anyway, the crunch of car wheels on the gravel drive awakens the collie puppy from his morning nap. We go to the front door, eagerly, and open it. A chubby middle-aged man with ill-fitting spectacles approaches along the walk. The collie puppy is happily barking away in his usual who-the-hell-are-you?! enthusiasm for strangers, which they—knowing nothing about collies and especially collie puppies—mistake for aggression.
The chubby middle-aged man with ill-fitting specs reaches into a black satchel and pulls out a small pamphlet. He hands it to me from where he’s standing at the bottom of the deck steps, not wanting to come any closer to the enthusiastic collie puppy, who I am restraining by the collar.
“Thank you,” I say.
“You’re always welcome,” he says, mustering a nervous smile. His brow is sweaty. He tells me once more that I’m always welcome. Then he beats a hasty retreat to his car and pulls away.
The collie puppy and I go back into the house. I glance at the pamphlet. On the cover are some words:
A WORLD GOVERNMENT
Why do we need one?
Is it possible?
Who is qualified to rule?
Hear the answers at a free public event.
This is your invitation.
Inside are more words: “Earth’s New Ruler—Who Really Qualifies?” A good question, but one I’m ill-prepared to answer. I can’t even say for sure who’s qualified to serve as supervisor for our small town.
I read a little further in the pamphlet and realize that this is an invitation to a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The pamphlet was printed in Canada. It has a bar code on the back so you can scan it with your smart phone to “find a location near you.” I have neither smart phone nor much access to a vehicle. And the collie puppy still gets sick on long car rides. The inevitable sadness of an invitation declined begins to settle upon me. What can I say, I’m a Pisces.
I guess I’ll just hang onto the invitation, in case one of you might be interested. You can stop by and pick it up. Let me know if you need directions.