“What am I doing here?”
That’s the question I asked myself and the Lord a few day ago as I sat in the meeting at the kingdom hall. I was more than a little bit discouraged. If you have been following my post, you know about the chastisement I have received for “sharing my personal opinions” at the kingdom hall. For a long time I enjoyed asking thought-provoking and challenging questions among the congregants after the meetings. Then the elders (and one elder in particular) confronted me and forbade me from doing so. Now, I know that Mr. elder has no authority over me. I could go right on with my agenda of challenging my JW friends. What are they going to do, disfellowship me? The worst case is that they would attempt to physically throw me out of the kingdom hall, or would call the police on me (as I have seen done in a number of videos). Well, those dramatic scenes are exactly what I’m trying to avoid. I don’t want my witness to come to an end with my JW friends! So in the interest of keeping the relationships alive, I agreed to refrain from sharing “my personal opinions” (aka what the Bible says).
So here I am, listening to the lectures and making small-talk with my JW friends, and nothing more. “What am I doing here, Lord?” How can I witness, when I’m not allowed to share the truth of the Bible, and how it contrasts with the Watchtower teachings? I feel like I’m under a gag order. Should I give up going to the kingdom hall, and just limit my ministry to talking with the cart ministry JW’s? I do enjoy my dialogues with them.
But I know that the Lord wants me to continue with the kingdom hall ministry. It’s a burden deep within me. I go about once a month, usually the last week of every month, and I can’t imagine quitting. So I will continue, even though I’m “walking on eggshells” and “biting my tongue” trying not to say anything controversial.
I am hopeful though. Here are some things that I think may be happening, or that I hope will happen.
- We never know just how (or how much) we influence others, even when words are not said. The mere fact that someone from that evil system they call “Christiandom” is friendly and caring, and has not given up on them, and keeps showing up at their meetings, may speak to their hearts. That’s my hope, and what keeps me going. Just like you can’t see what’s going on with seeds as they’re sprouting underground, we never know what seeds we’re planting in people’s hearts, just by being kind, listening to them, and caring about their personal lives.
- God may spark someone’s curiosity about me, prompting one (or more) of them to arrange a meeting with me to satisfy that curiosity. (Make it so, Lord.)
- One or more of the elders may corner me and call for a commitment. Something like, “When are you going to get baptized and become one of Jehovah’s witnesses?” That would be a fun encounter. Lord, give me the right words if it comes to that.
- This may be a time of trust-building with one or more of my JW friends. Someone may be on the verge of coming out of the org, and is working up the courage to reach out to me or someone else. I’m there to be ready to help them when the time is right. (Yes, Lord, set someone free, I ask in Jesus’ name!)
- The Lord may use me at a meeting or convention in some way that I haven’t even thought of. Isn’t that how the Lord usually works anyway? Yup, too true. As they say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
So meanwhile I’m sticking it out. I choose to sit through the most boring meetings anyone could possibly experience (I’m not exaggerating), and chit-chat about nothing afterwords with my JW friends, all in the hope of seeing one (or more) set free. As Paul would say, “to the JW’s I become a JW.” Now that gives a whole new meaning to being an #UndercoverJW.