do you realize that if an active JW knew that they had used our services they would probably be counseled!!!!
Actually, they might get *more* than counseled. The following is a VERY true story:
When my children were young, a very loving, single sister with two young daughters (twins about 3-4 years old) helped watch mine sometimes. My kids loved her and playing with her kids (she was somewhat like a big "kid" herself - VERY sweet!)... and my daughter sometimes watched her daughters (they were my son's age, 5 years younger than my daughter). I had known the sister for years, from a previous congregation, but at this time she lived in a low-income housing project that I managed (as did a few other families, primarily single moms).
Because she was a stay-at-home mom (her daughters were not yet school age), she was also on welfare. Well, she had the *bright* (and very honorable, I thought!) notion... of pioneering! Her logic: how much could one do at home during the day, why not teach her daughters from an early age to "love Jehovah" by pioneering? Pioneering with two small children (twins)?! Everyone was, "You GO, girl!" Yes, she was the "darling" of the congregation.
That is... until one day... she was on the news:
Seems the local food lockers were having trouble maintaining a decent inventory because of city/county budget cuts, and on a particular day, as she was coming out from getting her once-a-month-to-get-us-through-until-the-first-of-the-month-when-the-food-stamps-are-issued 1 or 2 bag of staples (cereal, bread, pasta, beans, canned goods and the like) a local news reporter stopped her to ask what she thought of the budget cuts and resultant shortage. And there... on television... the 5 O'CLOCK NEWS... before GAWD and everybody, she said: "I think it's terrible! Some of these children are starving and the food locker's their only hope to get through the month." And then she went on her way.
The statement lasted all of 10-15 seconds. She didn't smile or pose for the camers: she made a brief (VERY brief) statement, gathered up her bags and her children, and moved on.
BUT... you can imagine the "buzz", not just in OUR congregation, but in a good number of others, as well! Yes, the "mover's-and-the-shakers" in the congregation(s) (which translates into elders and their pioneer wives, and primarily those WITHOUT children to feed!)... were UPSET!! Why? Because she (oh, my!) had the audacity to be on television and, dear 'Jehovah', where is the "discreet" in that!)?! Yeah, that too! But PRIMARILY... because she was a WITNESS... and... OMIGAWD... a PIONEER! What would people SAY?!
(Now, I know what *we* were AFRAID they would say: "Those $##@! Jehovah's Witnesses!! How can they let ones among them even NEED to go to a food locker?! They're always telling us about the "new world" and showing us pictures with gorgeous fruit and bounty... and sayin' how they've got themselves a "paradise-like state" right NOW... so how come...???? )
And so, the very *kind* and *loving* elders (via the P.O.) told the dear sister that she could no longer pioneer. Why? Because, he said, "the congregation felt" that it was HER fault that her children needed food from a food locker and that rather than pioneer, she should put them in daycare and get a J-O-B... and that if she chose not to do that (it was, after all, still her choice, if she *wanted*, to stay at home and raise her children, and, in fact, it was the preferable thing to do because "sisters" should really learn to be "workers at home", especially if they were single and wanting to *get* a *good* husband)... her CHOICE... and the fact that as a result she might still need to visit the food locker from time to time... precluded her from the *privilege*... of pioneering!
Needless to say... she was devastated. The result? She soon "committed fornication"... and was, of course, disfellowshipped. How convenient! (Of course, the "word" was that such was "inevitable" because she had a "history" and if she was "real" sister... she'd have had a "good" JW husband and none of this would have ever happened... 'cause we all KNOW that ALL JW husbands are "good" and take care of their families... so that *we* don't have to...)
(Yes, yes... I am "venting". I truly am. This thread just opened a "wound" I thought closed long ago! Oh, and you might want to know how I know all of this. Well, besides the fact that the "sister" and I were VERY close at the time, I was also VERY close with the P.O. He was... like a "father" to me at one time, truly. He told me what his thoughts were... as well as the "thoughts" of the congregation(s). He did not AGREE with it, but saw no other alternative, as he, of course, needed to keep HIS position, didn't he? For who would save the "sheep" from the hard-noses? Sigh!)
Final thought: Did anyone (besides myself... the other single sisters who lived in the complex and who ALSO got food from the locker from time to time... and some of the "elderly" sisters) ever do anything to this sister and her girls get through a month? Well, what do you think?
Peace to you all.
A slave of Christ,
SJ (who wonders WHY some JWs just don't GET it!)