Sheila’s fingers curled into a small round ball, knuckles protruding out. She lifted her right hand, paused for a second followed by a deep breath, and knocked on the thick wooden door in front of her. Peter stood beside her, one arm wrapped around a small red Bible, so as not to make it look like a Bible.
“Ready,” she asked.
“We’ll be fine,” he said. “We can do this.”
The door was opened by a rather large man in a grey t-shirt and balding head. His eyebrows raised as looked at the pair.
“Yes,” he said. “Can I help you?”
“Well,” Sheila turned to Peter. “My name is Sheila, and this is Peter, and we would like the opportunity to discuss something with you. Just as a brief introduction, we attend the First Baptist Church down the street here.”
Sheila kept talking, waiting for Peter to step in and begin his own introduction to why they came. But there was only silence. He did manage to shift his balance from one foot to the other, while a pasty small smile stayed in place on his face.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” the man said, “but I’m kinda busy.got. Say what you came to say. I got a few minutes, but that’s all.”
“Oh,” Sheila looked at Peter from the corner of her eye trying to get his attention. “Well, if we could come inside and speak to you for just a minute, it could change your life.”
:”Yes,” Peter managed to squeak the word past his lips. And then again, “yes we would, I mean, it would, what we have to say would or could,” his voice growing lower as his face changed shades of red, growing deeper.
“Oh well, in that case, come in then,” the man was finding Peter a bit amusing, and on that alone, invited them in.
“Thank you, Sheila said as they finally walked in through the big wooden door.
“Yes, thank you.” Peter mimicked, in about the same pitched tone, then cleared his throat and unbuttoned the top button on his now too tight shirt collar.
“Would you like something cold to drink?” the man offered, walking toward the kitchen
“Oh no,” Peter managed to call out, “I mean, well,” he stammered as though backing away from an inevitable collision with his moral values. “I don’t drink.”
“I was referring to ice tea,” he laughed, “My wife just made it this morning. Along with a batch of cookies she made for some women’s thing at the church tonight.”
“Oh,” Sheila jumped in with what now appeared to be her favourite word. “Which church would that be?” she asked.
“The one you guys come from, the one down the street.” He walked in with a tray of glasses clinking cold ice in the sweet brown liquid.
“Been going there for about two years now. Don’t remember seeing you guys though.”
“Yes, well,” Peter started to say hugging his Bible a little closer to him. “We’ve been attending for quite a few years now.”
Sheila took a glass from the tray and started to drink. “Well,” she said between sips. “I guess we should mention why we’re here. Actually we came to invite you to our church and to talk to you about the good news of Jesus Christ, but it appears as though you already go to our church. It’s a big church. It’s hard to know everyone,” she said, her voice apologetic.
“Yes,” Peter’s new favourite word, “well, thank you for the ice tea. I guess we have nothing to say since you’re already familiar with the church, and you’ve already heard the gospel.” Peter lowered his head again and started to back his way toward the door to leave.
“Well,” the man said. “Actually, I think my wife’s out doing the same thing as you guys right now. But hey, doesn’t mean we can’t use this time to get to know each other a little better. Why don’t you sit down for a bit and talk. She’ll be home soon and you can meet her”
With that, Peter drew a sigh of relief, placed the Bible down on the coffee table and smiled at Sheila with a “we did it” kind of look on his face, silently chalking this one up to experience. The next house, he’d be bolder. Braver, he told himself. And the next house, he’d make sure this time, it was the right address.
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