As the day wore on John put on his official Salvation Army hat and wished to speak to us. With cold, calculated heartlessness, we had heard before and would hear many times after, asked, “So what are your plans?” These 5 words are the basis for our entire western civilization. The assumption is that you are your own god. You, and only you, can be expected to lead yourself. It is the same heartless ‘self’ speech that said to Jesus as He hung on the cross, “Save Yourself by coming down from the cross!” We were hearing that same attitude from a man who purported to follow God. Since I had heard from God, “Do not plan,” I had no reply. At that moment I was cast as a deadbeat by John and it was obvious that we had contrary values. Every system of man expects one to cooperate, and take the lead, in one’s life. A life of faith is antithetical to such systems and they have no capacity to handle people like us which leads to their frustration. At that point they just give up.
Since the doors had closed with the Salvation Army, I took it upon myself to find us a place to sleep for the night. There was a mattress that had been thrown out behind the building which was unusual. I laid it out and arranged our blankets to make a bed. It was a cold crisp night but not windy or snowy. An older lady from the Salvation Army came over to talk to us. She was comforting in her words and told us something we could not see for ourselves. We cannot hear ourselves talk but others, hearing us, can. She told us that after all of our experiences we weren’t bitter. This was a grand compliment for bitterness comes from ‘self.’ Her comments revealed to us that we were maturing in God even though we felt raw inside.
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