Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ruthie On The Road, Update

                                -PHOTO AND EDITS BY RUTH RADER-


Why I Don't Hitchhike On I-5 In Oregon

I am now in Corvallis, Oregon but I had to struggle to get here. And I was disgusted
more than once by the attitude of the people who should have known better.

When I reached Vancouver, Washington, I walked into a shelter and got my first dose
of bad behavior.

"We don't have room here for you" the guy in charge informed
me.

Then he told me that I couldn't stay inside and make calls for help from my cell phone.
No. He sent me back into the cold and unfamiliar darkness...without any concern,
whatsoever, for my well-being.

So I walked over to a bus shelter and sat down on the bench, inside.

I called the police and an officer finally arrived. I left my phone with my book of maps...
on the bench and went to talk to the cop.

People walked by behind me but I didn't think anything of it until I turned around again.
The cop radioed the dispatcher and they arranged for me to stay in a motel that night. Then
the officer told me to gather my stuff from off of the bench and get into his car.

When I walked back over to the bench, my cell phone was gone.

The next day, I tried to get a ride out but I was unsuccessful. That night I rode on a city bus
to within a mile-and-a-half of a winter shelter. After I got off the bus, I walked (trudged)
the rest of the way to the church.

Yes, the so-called "winter shelter" is located in a great, big church building. And while
St. Andrew may have let me in without a problem, the man who came to the church door
didn't.

Nope.

This is how the conversation at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Washington
went:

"Oh boy, am I glad that you're here! My name is Ruthie Rader and my feet are really tired,
not to mention the rest of me. I am not from Vancouver. I am hitchhiking through this area
and I need a warm, safe place to stay for the rest of the night."

"You were supposed to register for a space here much earlier today."

"Nobody told me anything about a registration. I just got limited information, bad directions,
a short bus ride and I got lost on the long walk out to here."

"Well, I don't see any reason to let you in."

"You've got to be kidding, Sir."

"No, I'm not...there is a procedure here."

"Listen, Sir...God is standing right next to me and if you have a problem with letting me into
His house, tonight...I suggest that you take it up with Him. I know that God wouldn't leave
me out in the cold."

The man stared at me and I glared right back.

I spent the rest of that night on a mat on the floor, inside that church building. (This update
will continue in the next post.)

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