In the previous installments of The Posture of Innocence, Commissioner Scott has been on two kinds of journeys -- one to see and consult with Captain Ironwood Hamilton of Tinyville's police, and another internal journey through understanding his evil racist beliefs and turning from them -- to the point of becoming a Christian! However, his next step is not to go to church -- his faith is tested first on his way to work, where he is sure to confront the latest news from the hated Lofton County Free Voice that has been burying his department alive...
To get totally caught up on The Posture of Innocence, here are the prologue, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 3.5, day 4, day 4.5, day 5, day 5.5, day 6, day 7, day 7.5, day 8, day 9, day 9.5, day 10, day 10.5, day 11, day 11.5, day 12, day 12.5, day 13, day 13.5, day 14, day 15, day 16, day 16.5, day 17, day 18, day 19, day 19.5, day 20, and day 20.5!
The next morning, Commissioner Scott woke at his regular time, feeling just a little different.
“Okay, so Lord, I don't know about this prayer stuff or anything, but, thank You for this day, and I'm scared, and they told me You would help me, so, I need You to start, right now. You know what my job is like. You know that accursed paper – well, okay, it's not accursed, but You know how I feel, and I need You to help me – is going to drag my department and the people in it through the mud again. You know I hate that paper and the people behind it with every fiber of my being right now – I'm just confessing my sins so You can help me. They told me You would help me. I believe You will. I surely need You to come through on this. I don't have any better options today. ”
It was a terrible prayer, by the world's standards. Yet, Commissioner Scott had the feeling that an honest prayer was better than a pretty one. He would figure it how to do it better as he went, but, that was the best he could do at that hour of the day, just twelve hours into being saved anyway.
Mrs. Scott had given her husband her own Bible, and had bookmarked it in several places so he could read in it while commuting to work – he often took the shuttle bus to downtown so he could think instead of driving and cursing folks out on the road. So, he read the Bible for the first time, and the first verse that struck him was in John 14: “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God; believe also in Me.”
“I do believe now,” the commissioner kept saying. “I do believe in You … I guess I don't have to let my heart be troubled – in fact, it's a command. I've got to have Your help to obey it, though, because I am very troubled...”
But he kept praying his simple prayers and found himself becoming calmer … the peace of knowing that God heard him in Christ came over him more and more, until at last he put his wife's Bible in his briefcase and began the short walk to the police station.
“I believe in God, and I believe in You, Lord Jesus – help me not to be troubled. Please help me to believe in You, and not to let my heart be troubled … oh, here's the paper … .”
Commissioner Scott stopped and remembered something else he had read.
“I read this morning that there is a helmet of salvation, Lord – I need You to help me put that on my head, on my mind – this paper is about to give me a stroke, a heart attack, and a whole bunch of words I know I'm not supposed to use any more. I can't stand this paper, Lord, I can't stand the people behind it, and I need You to take control of my mind and my mouth as I read this thing today … .”
Then he looked,
“Oh, Lord, what is this?”
It was a practical miracle. The Lofton County Free Voice had written its article about the correct handling of the Soames case after 25 years, and had put out an olive branch: “It does appear that the new commissioner, and several officers, are attempting to make a true break from their department's corrupt and devilish past. We expect to be disappointed, as we as a community have seen many large gestures designed to put us back to sleep – however, if this is truly the beginning of something new for Big Loft's police force, it is a promising development.”
Commissioner Scott looked up …
“Thank You! Thank You! This was the help I needed, more than anything else... oh, thank You, Lord, thank You! Thank You!”
Commissioner Scott bounced up the stairs like he was 30 again – and then got his reminder that he was 60 when his knees started aching.
“Got to be careful – but, Lord, You have made me glad with Your work here! I couldn't have done it and would have been in no state to appreciate it without Your moving – thank You!”