Kimberlea set her knitting down with a sigh and pushed herself out of her rocking chair to answer the sharp rap on her door. She took a peek through the peephole. Mormon missionaries. Kimberlea shook her head and her short red curls danced around her face. With another sigh, she pulled the door open.
"Good afternoon, Elders." She said and smiled as they looked at each other in confusion.
"Uh, are you LDS?" the taller of the two asked.
She leaned closer to read his name badge. "No, Elder Boon, but I have been taught by Mormon missionaries before." She paused. "Twice actually."
"Oh. well what do you think about what you learned?"
It's true. Kimberlea nearly jumped when the thought popped into her head. She shook her head trying to expel it. "You boys are good kids, and the things you teach are nice. But your church isn't for me."
"Well, take these anyway," the shorter missionary said with the slightest hint of a Hispanic accent. He pushed a handful of pamphlets into her hand. "Our number's on the back, so you can call us if you ever have any questions."
Kimberlea watched through the gap in the living room curtains as the two young men walked away. When they turned the corner at the end of the street, she dropped the pamphlets on the table; then she sat back down and retrieved her knitting needles. They flashed in her agile hands and within a few minutes she had completed a tiny set of green and white booties. She placed the pair in a basket at her side, nearly filled with more booties in varying shades of blue, pink, yellow and green. In a few days I'll have enough to drop off at the hospital.
Her eyes narrowed as her thought reminded her of the last time she had allowed the missionaries into her home.
"Are you telling me that unless I'm baptized into your church that I can't get into heaven?"
The sister missionary pulled her hair away from her face and swallowed hard before answering. "Heavenly Father has commanded us to be baptized, even Jesus Christ submitted to this law."
Kimberlea frowned. "Jesus wasn't baptized into your church."
"Well, no, but..."
Kimberlea cut her off. "You're telling me that all of the good deeds I do are worth nothing to the Lord unless I'm baptized." She grabbed her Bible from the coffee table and flipped to the page she wanted. "What about 'ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only'? It says nothing about baptizing here, and a whole lot about justification."
The sister and her companion exchanged a quick glance but said nothing.
"I think our meetings are done. I'd appreciate it if you don't contact me again."
That was two years ago, and Kimberlea still felt her chest tighten and her face flush with anger. I'm a good person; surely the Lord will see all that I have done in His name and find that far more important than which church I belong to.
Kimberlea stood up and stretched out her limbs. When she turned back to place her needles and yarn in the basket a trailing strand caught on the coffee table and pulled the pamphlets onto the floor. Kimberlea bit her lip to keep from getting angry. I should've just thrown them away to begin with. As she picked the pamphlets up, however, she felt drawn to cover picture on one of them. It was a depiction of Christ speaking with the Samarian woman at the well. I've always loved this story.
She sat back down with the pamphlet in her hand, admiring the artwork. As she studied it, a verse came to her mind--one she'd helped her granddaughter memorize for Bible School last summer.
"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
"A lovely portrayal of that scene." Kimberlea said aloud. She placed the stack of pamphlets back on the table and walked into the kitchen.
Kimberlea, why do you reject my gift?
Kimberlea froze with one hand on the handle of the refrigerator. The voice, although quiet, had sounded like it came from right next to her. She glanced around, but saw no one. "What gift?"
She heard no reply, only the buzzing of the fridge and the heavy ticking of her old fashioned cuckoo clock. "What gift?" she asked again, but softer this time, more to herself. Then she remembered the pamphlet and the verse she had rehearsed. Kimberlea hurried back to the living room and grabbed the stack. She spent the next hour reading through them. When she was done, she reached for the phone.
Elder Boon's voice filled the line.
With her voice shaking, Kimberlea identified herself and asked, "Is it too late for me?"
"Of course not."