One morning I was rushing to and fro caught up in what I had to get done, I was pumping gas, building up a head of determined steam when I heard a voice. “Excuse me, Sir. Would you like to read a copy of the Watchtower?” I turned my head and there stood a boy of about eight holding out a couple of thin magazines.
He was clean-cut, hair slicked down with a blue oxford shirt sporting a yellow and blue striped, clip-on tie. His too big shirt framed his skinny neck. He appeared freshly scrubbed with light brown eyes. He was reaching up to me … hesitant, shy, and maybe even a little afraid of the weathered older man with the furrowed brow and deep voice. All I had to offer him was my knee jerk reaction to anyone “pushing” religion at me.”I’m good son. No thanks.’ I barked, as I turned back to the pump. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him walk away.
As a lifetime of sometimes small and sometimes not so small cruelties flooded into my heart I realized that I was ashamed. I stopped pumping gas, turned and stomped over to the mini-van where he had retreated. The van was full of folks of all ages, black and white, male and female. I spotted the small boy settling there in the back. Now it was my turn to feel a little shy, maybe even a little afraid. “I changed my mind,” I growled and again he reached out with the pamphlets and magazines, smiling that angelic grin that he had originally produced. As I turned there was an audible “awww” from the women.