“Us” and “Them”
I wondered if “they “would show up for the first day back.
“They” were the classmates who were Jehovah’s Witnesses.
According to them, 1975 was supposed to be the end of the world, but when we left school for Christmas break it hadn’t happened yet…and now their apocalyptic deadline had passed.
They had argued with me almost daily with vigor about the end of all things…and the end of me, personally.
They now had to face the consequences of the failure of their doctrine and my continued existence….and I was going to make sure they knew how wrong they had been.
The “JW” families lived on the outskirts of the community, literally and figuratively.
They didn’t celebrate birthdays or holidays, they didn’t salute the flag… but they did faithfully do the (annoying) works that their beliefs demanded.
They were always among us, rarely with us.
They were allowed to be both as they saw fit.
We weren’t converting and neither were they…but they were part of our town and part of “us”.
Whatever “they” believed, “they” were our “neighbors”.
As I got ready for school that day, I was also loading for bear.
The Lord had stayed in heaven just as I had said He would…and “they” had insisted He wouldn’t.
I was preparing for a rollicking, sarcastic, good time at the expense of my classmates for the amusement and pleasure of my fellow heathens.
The school bus ride was filled with gleeful anticipation from my friends of what was soon to befall the Jehovahs Witnesses among us…if they showed up.
She was waiting when I got off the bus…she saw my cockeyed grin before I saw her tears.
She only said two words;
I said “I won’t”.
She broke her law and hugged a pagan.
The pagan hugged her back.
The subject never came up again.
If she ever came to a knowledge of the truth…the hug carried more weight than my arguments.
If…she ever did…mercy made the difference.
It always does.
Make your own application…