October 17, 2014

In The Next Life

My dad, prior to accidentally blowing up a basement science lab at OCU in Oklahoma City, was a theology/religions major. Apparently, he had an explosive minor. He was raised Catho-bapti-methodentul. He settled as a Methodist when I was about three years old because it was the closest church with the most open mind. 

He loved a good religious conversation. He liked to cuss and discuss scripture. He was confident in his faith and nonjudgmental about yours. 

At some point during my teen years, he opened the door to find the Jehovah Witness parishioners on our stoop. Actually, he was probably tinkering in the garage when they approached him. 

He discussed faith with them and soon they actually became friends. My dad's thought was that if they needed to put in time witnessing in order to get into heaven or whatever, who was he to stop them?

And, while there were a few Saturday mornings that my dad was out when his friends showed up which resulted in my mom, sister and I crawling around on the floor whispering, they were very nice people. When my dad had his stroke, they brought groceries to the hospital. When he was released, they brought groceries to our home. Nice people indeed. 

Because of my dad's desire to not stand in they way of anyone's journey to an eternal paradise, I find myself being sympathetic to the plight of the ill-times door knockers. 

Yesterday morning found me answering such a knock. I had been wide awake since an ungodly hour but had just put on some yoga pants with my frumpy pajama top. When the doorbell dinged, it was only after I'd answered that I considered my attire.

"Good morning," the older lady belted at me. "We'd like to talk to you about your spiritual- ness."

I nodded my head and kicked toward the cat who thought he was going to escape. 

"Are you firm in your beliefs?" She quested. 

"Yes," I answered, noticing that my pajama top was misbuttoned."

"Are you firm in the afterlife?" She asked, and I imagined she was actually smirking.

I stopped myself from rebuttoning my shirt and said, "Oh yeah! I believe that well all be completely healed when we get to heaven. No more flab on this body."

Wordlessly, she handed me her literature and left. 

I realize now that she probably wasn't making a comment about my appearance. 

My dad was so much better at religious conversations. 


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