Bubba was out weeding one day. Nice day. Sunny. Cool. Two young men approached, dressed in Mormon Missionary costume, and greeted him politely.
“Good afternoon, Sir. Have you heard about Jesus?”
“Hell, I live in the US, I’m in my 60’s, how could I not have heard about Jesus?” Bubba thinks.
He ponders the scene; considers two possible paths: one, sweep them on; the other, engage in the moment.
He decides to engage.
The boys won’t get a typical conversation. Bubba, a student of many religions and New Age spiritual beliefs, talks to them. About being in the moment.
“This moment,” he says, “this moment right now.”
He talks about Jesus being in and through everything, “right?” and is therefore there with them, at that moment.
He asks them about their experience of Jesus; their personal experience.
“Not something you read in a book.”
They umm and uh.
Bubba asks if he can tell them his story of another Mormon interaction, in SF. Two men and two women, dressed in fine clothes, had approached him on his front patio. He had chatted with them a bit and then, tired of it, asked them to leave.
They were slow to move—delaying—opening and reading from the Bible. He insisted they go; they lingered.
Finally, he told them he would spray them with his garden hose if they didn’t vamoose. He held up the hose, readying to twist the nozzle. Like disturbed pigeons, they fluttered, moving in haste to the safety of the sidewalk.
The young men listened intently to the story.
One leaned in and said, “I don’t think they were Mormons, sir. Mormons would have left.”
Bubba looked at them. And with sudden surprise, declared…
“I think you’re right! I think—now that you mention it—they must have been…Jehovah’s Witnesses! The men were in fine clothes—suits and all—and the women in their best finery. Not that you’re not well-dressed, but, well, it was different. Yes! Yes! I think you’re right. They weren’t Mormons at all!”
“All these years I’ve blamed the Mormons,” Bubba muttered.
The young men, hearing Bubba’s renunciation, nodded in agreement; no, it had not been the Mormons after all.
3/10/18 Previously titled: “Good Afternoon, Sir. Have You Heard About Jesus?”