October 9, 2008 - Thursday
Day 218 10.7 miles
Total Maryland miles - 57.6 Walking Days - 103
Washington D.C. miles - 4.6 Cumulative miles 1789.4
After breakfast Bonny and I headed out to pre-drive today’s route. After we did that I suggested we pre-drive tomorrow’s route through Baltimore as well. We did that, then it was time to find a quiet spot for a radio interview by phone that I was to do with a station in Ohio.
They were to call me at noon. I got set up, and Bonny and I prayed, then she decided to go inside of Wal-Mart while I talked. I waited until five after noon, and when they hadn’t called by then I knew something was wrong. The radio stations always call five or so minutes early.
I decided I’d better call them. As soon as I mentioned my name to the producer, she gasped and apologized profoundly. It seems that the program host called in sick this morning with a high fever. She was going to call me right away, but thought I was in California, so she waited - and forgot. Oops. I explained that I was actually on the east coast on another walk (they were interviewing me about the walk across America and the book). She also assured me that they were planning to re-schedule me.
I called my agent after that to let him know what happened, and to let him know that they were planning to reschedule. At the same time I urged him to make sure that the radio stations always had the information about me being on the GAP Walk on the east coast.
Finally we headed back to the start point of today’s walk where I started walking at 1 pm. It’s a good thing I’m walking only about ten miles a day these days.
There were lots of hills today, but none of them too bad. Bonny met me several times. Most of the time I just waved to her to let her know I was continuing without stopping (that’s something we’ve agreed I would do if I didn’t need to stop).
At one place I saw a group of five people across the road. watching me and waving back when I waved to them. They just kept looking at me and smiling, and I decided I needed to go over relieve their curiosity. They were genuinely glad that I did. After asking lots of questions, Dan asked if they could pray me on. I gladly accepted their prayer. It was awesome, and I felt so encouraged. I got a picture of Shoni (that’s what it sounded like on the recording, I hope that’s right), Steve, Nicole, Brian, and Dan.
A little later I met Don, who was very curious as well. We talked for quite awhile, and when he found out what I was doing and that I was heading into Baltimore, he encouraged - no, urged me with the utmost urgency not to walk through Baltimore. Over and over he emphasized the danger of walking through this city.
As I walked away I found myself really confused. Was this man sent by God to warn me, or was it a deception of the enemy to get me to avoid Baltimore. Don had told me of the gangs that were throughout the city, and said that I would certainly lose everything I was carrying, and very likely lose my life. Now I’ve been in some danger before, but this warning was so strong I decided I needed to really pray about it (I always do pray about dangerous situations). I have seen God’s incredible protection many times, and have sensed so clearly at times that I was to walk through certain areas. At those times God has given me some awesome opportunities.
This was different, and I felt the need to call my greatest prayer partner, Marilyn. Her mission from God for this walk has been to pray especially for my safety. Someday I may tell you the story of what happened with Marilyn and me last January that brought about this special call to pray for my safety. If you’re real curious you can ask me about it.
I shared with Marilyn my dilemma and asked her to pray for wisdom for me. The one thing I have always been careful about on these walks is to make sure I pray about it if I am warned about potential danger. At times I (or we, when others were involved) have sensed God clearly telling us to walk through the situation, and other times it has been clear that we were not to go through. So now I needed wisdom from God about Baltimore.
I called Dave also, and we talked about the different possibilities, but ultimately the decision was mine to make. I am grateful for a husband that trusts me enough to know that I will weigh carefully all the pros and cons about a situation, and then make a wise choice.
Another concern I had was for Bonny, if we should decide to do Baltimore. If she were to get lost and stop to ask for directions, would she be safe? I certainly didn’t want to endanger her.
I continued to pray as I walked, leaning toward not walking through Baltimore - at least not now. Still I didn’t have a clear picture of what I should do, so I asked God to give me a real sign one way or another.
I wanted to get a good Baltimore map, so I stopped at three gas station convenience stores. One had the plasticized kind that were rainproof. These are twice as costly, and I didn’t want to spend that much. Finally I found a regular map of Baltimore and purchased it at a fair price.
But, interestingly enough, it was these convenience stores that helped me come to a decision about walking through Baltimore that gave me real peace. When I walked into the first one I noticed immediately that the attendant was behind glass (I suspected it was bullet-proof). I walked into the second one - same thing; and the third - same thing. I have not seen this at any other gas station on this walk. It was clear that there was cause for concern.
Later on I told Bonny of my concerns, and of all I had gone through this afternoon. I saw now that God had first brought about the divine encounter with the group that prayed with me as a way of preparation for the one who warned me. The meeting with Don, who warned me of danger, I do believe was another divine encounter.
This evening I called Marilyn to let her know of my decision. She was glad, and had pretty much felt the same thing. I still didn’t know just what I would do about getting around Baltimore, but as Marilyn and I talked I was looking at the map. She suggested that when I decided how I would get around it, and when, that maybe I could let a few people know who would be willing to pray especially for Baltimore as I did this.
Then we both got excited about having a whole group of people praying for Baltimore at the same time. One thing I’m thinking of doing is coming back to this area next Friday, October 17, when Dave will be back with me to drive, and Austin will be with me to walk and pray together. If we do that, we might walk in some parts where we know it is safe. But the thing that got me real excited is the Beltway highway that goes completely around the city. If Bonny and I drive that whole circle on Saturday when we leave here to move our base to Potomac, MD, we could be praying all around the city, and having a bunch of you folks out there praying at the same time. How about it? E-mail me or call me if you will be in agreement with us about this. Lynshfm@juno.com or (805)610-0274. It will be early Saturday afternoon when we do it. If you don’t know, and have wondered about the shfm in my e-mail address, it stands for Seek Him First Ministries.
Let’s say we’ll be doing that between 1 pm and 3 pm ET on Saturday, October 11. (That will be 10 am to 12noon P T; 11 am to 1 pm MT; and 12 noon to 2 pm CT.)
Someplace in the midst of all this I had a call from Paul Strand with CBN. He and a TV crew had spent a morning and into the early afternoon with me back in July in Washington D. C. He had a question for me about the West Coast Walk from years ago. Then he told me they are finally getting ready to do a three part showing of it next week - I believe he said Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but he has to call me back with the exact time, so I’ll find out then. Anyway, I will probably put it in the journal when I know, but should you want to be notified via e-mail or phone (e-mail if possible, please) just let me know at the address or phone number in the above paragraph.
Okay, enough on that - back to today’s walk. I knew that when I reached the construction area on today’s walk that I was almost to the end where Bonny would be waiting. It had been a warm day with lots of humidity (I think Bonny said she heard it was 85% humidity today). The construction area was extremely dusty and I was “glowing” profusely, so I was pretty dirty when I finished.
We programed the GPS for Starbucks and headed out. After Starbucks, we stopped for gas at $3.19, then continued on to our “home” away from home.
I got showered, ate my dinner, did my computer work, called Dave, then headed for bed. Good-night all.