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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ruthie On The Road, Update

I sat there...listening to the two men play guitars and sing...closed
my eyes and smiled...even though I was suffering from a nasty head cold.

Yeah,
I listened to them the other day...both of them...I took several photos
of them...recorded a few moments of their impromptu jam session...and
then posted the whole thing on this blog today.

But if a man named Paul had been in the vicinity...those photos and that recording wouldn't exist.

[When this library closes, I will be out in the cold, literally. With nowhere to go. All night long.

Why did this happen?

Please,
before you read any further: Click on the post headline above and read
what I wrote before leaving the shelter the last time that I was in Bellingham. The person that I wrote the email/post to is the person that caused the problem tonight.]

After
dinner, I returned to the chapel area and a young man was on the floor
beside the lockers. He had a roll of tape beside him and Bible in his
lap. As I watched, he took the tape and tore off a long piece and
started taping the damaged cover of the book back into place.

"Now, that's the coolest thing that I've ever seen anyone do all day" I said to him.

He smiled and thanked me...and then added "This is how important God is to me."

"Yeah, well you're already pretty important to God" I said.

He just smiled even more.

We continued discussing God and then Paul came into the room.

He
called the kid into his office and chewed him out for talking to me. It
appears that Paul insists that all the men in the shelter "program" or
in the shelter, period, not talk to the women at all.

He told the kid that "women just cause problems."

Then
he called ME over and told me not to talk to any of the men, whether
they are in the "program" or from the street...when any of them are
inside the mission with me.

He told me that if I intended to
stay at the shelter for any length of time that I couldn't talk to any
of the guys at all while we were inside.

I said, "We were just discussing God."

He replied with "The best thing that you could do right now is walk away from me."

I turned around, grabbed my pack and said, "Yeah, Paul, I'll walk away from you...right out the door."

He walked back into his office and shut the door.

And God walked with me out the shelter door.

Could I have stayed at least for tonight?

Probably,
but I also realize that what he asked of me, in front of that kid who
payed close attention to our entire conversation, was totally wrong.

And I've had enough.

His attitude toward women and Christianity isn't mine. Thank God.

Where will I go tonight? How will I stay warm? What will I do?

Stay tuned.

We
are all free to share God. That's my belief. And when this library
closes I will carry that knowledge with me as I walk into the cold,
dark night.

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