I called to make an appointment for Johnny and me to go check out the ministry place where I thought he would be living. We made an appointment to go meet the man at 4:30 the next day, but I was not very peaceful. Johnny did not grow up being taught about the Lord. In jail he came to know the Lord and when he got out he sought the Lord the only way he knew – go to all the churches in town and talk to the pastors about what they could do to help him walk the straight and narrow and know the Lord.
I have seen the Holy Spirit work within Johnny and within our relationship. It was the Holy Spirit that told Johnny to turn his bike around all those years ago in Ontario and invite me to his church. It was the Holy Spirit that told me to run away when Johnny kissed me because the Lord was protecting Johnny from my extreme legalism. It was the Holy Spirit that told me to finally text back when after a year he was still texting “I’m sorry”, and it was the Holy Spirit that brought Johnny to Casper.
Johnny knows the Lord the way he knows Him, and in so many ways – his trust in the Lord is like the faith of a child. Johnny knows he’s a man with a past and knows the Lord is looking out for him and has forgiven him and he prays every night. Should I take a man whose faith is like a child and shove him into a box-like Christianity where your spirituality is judged on how many hours you read your bible and how many bible verses you memorize? The Lord has not opened my eyes to the truths of all being saved and love covers a multitude of sins for no reason. Shall I take a man whose relationship with God is spiritually innocent, without a head full of bad theology and legalism and make him conform to the traditions of man? No. I think not.
So I told Johnny I wasn’t peaceful. Even though before he came out here we agreed that he would go into this program – now I felt very strongly that this was not the place for Johnny. We were sitting in the van outside the house where the appointment was and I said, “We will go in and hear what it is all about but unless we are convinced otherwise – I’m not going to be a rag and force you to go, even though that is what we initially agreed.” Johnny grinned and said, “Ok, and I won’t be a rag and say I told you so.”
We went into the meeting and I listening to the man talk about all the rules and regs and “we don’t watch TV, we listen to Christian music” and I knew again, that this was just not the place the Lord wanted Johnny. Not that there isn’t a reason and a spiritual purpose for places like that and they can do so much good – I just really knew that this was not the place for Johnny. So I asked the man if we could try some other options and if it didn’t work out that Johnny could come back at a later date, and the man said yes. We left feeling relieved but also knowing that if the situation changed, he could always do it later.
So without a plan, we knew that it was time to once again trust the Lord to see where He would lead Johnny. One door is shut; it will be interesting to see what other doors the Lord will open.
Till next time
Lots of love