For years, they ducked me.
Prior to studying apologetics and theology and becoming better prepared to engage in most faith conversations, it seemed to me that evangelizers were knocking on my door more often. Sarcastically, I'd attributed their avoidance of my door to my growing (local) reputation as something of a theology wonk. In reality, very few outside of my workplace and circle of friends and family could possibly know that I'm well-versed in matters of faith. Whatever the reason, be it my theological prowess (LOL) or just luck of the draw that has kept them away, I have come to earnestly desire that very thing that many people loathe - namely, that people would come knocking on my door once again! Now that I feel prepared to answer their questions (and to ask them some of my own), I say, "Bring it on!" Wouldn't you know it took a move across the ocean to make it happen!
A couple days ago, I was visited by two young Jehovah's Witnesses. After establishing my lack of fluency in either French or German, they attempted to evangelize me in English. Tip - When one asks a European if he speaks English and he says "A little bit," he is merely being modest and perhaps underestimates his own fluency, but in reality, he probably speaks better English than many in the English-speaking world. Off they went, asking me if I was a Christian, if I accepted Scripture as a source of God's revelation, etc. It was great. Had I not been in such a hurry to go pick my kids up from school, I would have invited them in for coffee (and told them as much before throwing the invitation out there for them to come back anytime). I didn't let them go without countering a few of their positions with some Bible verses of my own (and turning a couple of the ones they used right back around on them), so I would say it was a productive moment of evangelization.
An encounter with people with such conviction in a fallen world is a good moment no matter what. When those people are on the right track but remain in error to greater or lesser degrees (from JWs to Mormons to our much closer evangelical brothers and sisters), Catholics have a great opportunity to witness back to them. We need not worry about convincing anyone that the fullness of Truth resides in the Catholic Church (that's God's doing). We only need to proclaim the truth in love. Any person of faith who comes to one's door is already open to discussing matters of faith. What they probably come to expect, especially among average Catholics, is either an unwillingness to discuss or a near total ignorance of such things. What a missed opportunity! Instead, how many seeds are planted by a friendly smile, a willing conversation, and an openness to hearing what they feel is important in exchange for the opportunity to explain things as a knowledgable Catholic... especially by meeting them on Scriptural grounds? At the very least, the people who are knocking on Catholic doors will come away with a newfound respect for Catholicism, even as they might hold onto their particular errors in belief.
I am thankful for the friendly Jehovah's Witnesses who stopped by this week. I hope they will again, along with some Mormon's and even some people from All Nations Church (one of the only non-denominational Protestant communities here in Luxembourg). Would that everyone were so committed and so lucky as to come to my door!