We have the circuit overseer’s visit this week, and my folks are having him and his wife over for lunch today. Of course, I’m making it a point of hightailing it out of there to have my lunch elsewhere. When my mom asks me “Why don’t you stay and meet him,” I just say, “Well, he’s just a man like everybody else.” She says, “Well, of course. We know that. But you should stay and talk with him. He’s such a really nice man, and it would be really encouraging association to talk with him.”
He’s just a man. Acknowledged, apparently. But whenever we’re going to have the circuit overseer and his wife over, my mom always goes on a little spree to make sure that everything is perfect, or at least appears to be. She makes sure that the bathroom is all cleaned up, and things are rearranged throughout the apartment and spiffed up to look extra presentable – more so than for just the usual guests, for sure. The dining tablecloth gets replaced with a really elite-looking one, things like the coffee table are all shined up, and there’s the pronounced smell of fine perfume in the air. All that just for lunch!
The circuit overseer is “just a man,” as is duly and readily acknowledged. Yet, however, it sure seems like people definitely make a fuss over them, certainly above and beyond the usual guests.
A very recent Watchtower study (Jan. 2016, p. 27), in the supplemental article “Love ‘Does Not Behave Indecently,’” counselled against making an overt show of idolization toward brothers with high positions in treating them as celebrities or some kind of movie stars. That article asked: “Would we ask them to autograph our books and Bibles? Would we push in front of others and aggressively demand that our photo be taken with them?” HOWEVER, there is a definite unwritten rule that things have to be “perfect” – or at least much more “perfect” than usual – whenever a residence is to be graced with the privilege of entertaining the circuit overseer, . . . . even for a so-called humble lunch.
“Just a man,” indeed. But, my how things seem to have to be extra spotless and fancy whenever he comes by! Such adulation and exultation certainly shows up the intense feeling of reverence of the rank-and-file toward their higher-ups. (At least with the circuit overseer, unlike the Pope and the governing body members, there’s no “special ring” to kiss.)