The other day I was working in a rather remote area when I came across a questionable place. The property was very open with a few trailers along the sides and a large garage in the middle surrounded by quite a few vehicles. I pulled up to find geese coming up to my van. I tried to get my stuff together as fast I could before they reached my side of the van and out I was! I made my way to 2 guys that were outside of the garage. It was a little bit of a walk as I yelled out, "Hi, my name is Alisa and I'm with the Census." I said it about 2 times, as he just stared at me, when I realized that he had a bloody knife in his hands! I think any normal human being would have been at least startled by the sight but I was amazingly calm. As things unfolded and by the time I was back in my van, I had no doubt that the Lord was the one calming me. This man immediately had a wall up and did not want anything to do with the government. The first words out of his mouth were something like, "What are you doing here?" Yeah, remember bloody knife in his hand! But still not scared. Weird. Anyway, I told him I was with the Census with which he replies, "That don't tell me anything!" I was kind of at a loss for words so I confusingly said, "Um...well, my name is Alisa...." with which he says, "Yeah, well that's my sisters name but that still doesn't tell me what you're doing here!" So I tried to explain to him that the Census wants to count heads in the state of Oklahoma for funding and such. He's walking away from me at this point and amazingly enough I follow him. This is where I see about 10 or so catfish on the ground awaiting their fate of being sliced open while I ask him all these Census questions. It's a good thing that I like fish so much because anyone else just may have puked! He continued to give me a hard time as he lied to me in telling me that he had 9 children living in this trailer I was trying to get the information on. All the while I am being as nice as I can be. I think this is where the lesson begins in what the Lord was trying to teach me. I think I can handle people one on one really well - crowds, no - but I can usually see things pretty clearly with just one person or maybe a few. But given how odd the situation was and add on top of that it being a very humid day ( I DON'T do well with humidity!) I should have really gotten scared or irritated by this guy. But it just came so naturally to be kind to him even though he was being anything but the same to me. I continued to ask him questions where he slowly started to open up to me. He never would give me his name or his daughters name (in his words, "I ain't runnin from the law or nothing...I ain't been in trouble in a while I just don't want the government in my business.") but amazingly enough he never kicked me off his property and even answered some of the questions that other people have problems with; like getting his phone number. At one point in the interview I actually got him to laugh. By the end of the interview he asked me if I saw the turkey under the trampoline. I told him no, where he immediately told me he was going to walk me to my van because that turkey was a "watch turkey" and that he would attack me. Here is this same man who had all these walls up around him when I first pulled up - this same man who was being somewhat protective now as he, his bloody knife, long hair, tatoos and all made sure that I made it to my vehicle safely. I drove away and said a prayer of thanks. How grateful I was that the Lord kept me calm. That he let me learn a very important lesson that day. Everyone wants to be loved. We all want to laugh and be loved. Even the hardest of hearts can be softened if you work and work on loving someone. I've been really grateful for that redneck man this week! He has no idea what he taught me.
1 day ago