From what I had experienced in my youth of 15 - 16 years of age of a spiritual nature - I had always thought God had wanted me in some form of the religious life. So thoughts of going to college to pursue some secular career I had blocked out of my mind.
I mistakenly thought that the consolation of the Holy Spirit God poured into my soul at that young age - would return and so I would wait for it's return and would be directed as to what I should do.
No, rather what I had so enjoyed of the Holy Spirit's delicate touches of holiness - was turned off - just as if someone had turned off a light and I was left to an excruciating aridity - and no amount of tears on my pillow would induce God to send back His holiness to my soul again.
What I mean by this is one is left to love God by fact and faith and not by feeling. The emotional lift of the Holy Spirit to love of God was gone and with that God would teach me what it is to love Him without the spiritual gifts of consolation He gives.
In the mean time I would go to a mill to work where my sister worked temporarilly till she got married and moved away with her husband.
So I was a mill worker going to work in the mornings in jeans and any old shirt you didn't mind getting wrecked from grease and wear and tear in a mill and yes old sneakers.
Time went on and I was still in that mill and I appreciated my employment and I thought "I am a mill worker and my Master was a carpenter."
I can always remember one of my younger brothers pointing out to the other (both of which by this time were pursuing careers in Electrical Engineering) looking at my work sneakers once when the came home to visit. Not realizing I was within ear-shot, the one said to the other "Look at (Hopper's) shoes." - and they both kinda laughed - a sympathetic laugh - but embodied in that was a certain sort of attitude of the lowness of my societal positioning.
My sneakers covered in grease and goop from the product we make at the mill.
As it was going on years now with I still at that mill I was elevated to a position of some authority in the department where I worked. I was a supervisor. Now I wore authority shoes.
This didn't sit too well with 2 other male supervisors and another man of some weight in the plant and I had difficulty with them - undermining me and running to the head guy with their surmises.
The thing of it is I'm not one of those woman libbers. I just happened to be put in that position by the higher ups and also happend to be a woman. Anyway that's another topic.
I asked after three years of a lot of stress and really not wanting to write reports on people - if I could step down from that position. So I was allowed to return to being just a mill worker again.
It wasn't long after that, then I was asked if I would like to work in the office.
Now my attire going into work was a mandatory dress or skirt and highheels.
My first day dressed so I went out to the kitchen to get a cup of de-caf coffee. They make coffee in the office but not de-caf and I can't drink regular coffee as it gives me the shakes.
So I went out to the kitchen where I met one of the woman I worked with out in the mill.
She stopped me and looked at my shoes, my stockings and dress and then declared, "Now you have walked in everyone's shoes."
And I thought "Now there's a profound statement."
To think about it what was it that God was educating me in without my knowledge?
What wouldn't I had learned if I had gone to college? Would my attitude toward someone who was just a mill worker had been different? Would I had laughed sympatheticly or thought I'm educated and make more money and that somehow makes me a better person? "No" - And what is this new courtesy I'm afforded when walking into the store and the man holds the door for me with smile?
The day before in jeans and ragged tee shirt and grease stained sneakers I would have seen the back of him as he entered and I'd have to grasp the door handle before the door shut.
Am I not the same person?
I'm going to end this one life lesson here because I see this account is getting very long and it does get too tedious on the eyes - but I'd like to conclude with the thought that we never know what goes on in another person's life - and why they are where they are - and we have to be very careful about our perceptions that are colored by our own set of particular glasses.