The U.S. of After Chapter 51


Clayton

Once we got on down the river a ways we found that there were boatloads of people with the same idea we had.  I suppose they heard about the same stories around campfires lit in places I had not traveled.  I heard accents from all over, mostly the south, but pretty much from everywhere.

I spent most of my time in the front of the boat just prayin’ over the people and our safety.  We had lost so many, and I figured we prolly wasn’t out of the woods yet, so to speak.  There could be militia, dogs, or other crazy nonsense before we got to New Orleans.  I got a message to make friends and so that’s what I did.

I looked across the water at the boats around us and hollered on out to them, startin’ up conversations which made them float closer to us and share their stories.  I met people from all over the U.S., some of them from Canada.  Their story was pretty much the same as ours even if there were some minor differences.  All of us was headed to New Orleans because we had heard that there was hope down there.  I met Moms and Dads, cops and criminals, bankers and homeless people, even though I suppose all of us was pretty much homeless.

The river started widenin’ out, and as we floated along we saw people walkin’ or ridin’ horses along the banks of the river, some of them crossin’ the roads that went along bridges that we passed under.  I looked around at the faces on my own boat and noticed that even though things had been hard for all of us, people started smilin’ again and laughin’ with each other, just cuttin’ up and havin’ a good time.  After while a couple of guys in the back of our boat broke out a deck of cards and started playin’ Texas hold’em.  I didn’t know nothin’ about that game so I kept to myself.

I just smiled and realized that I was doin’ what Gabe had told me to do, and that was get to the coast.  That, he said, would lead me to Jerusalem.  Whichever way that was supposed to happen, I didn’t know, but I figured life was an adventure with God, and he hadn’t let me down yet, and wouldn’t.  His word was pretty clear about that, and I had seen enough of his grace and power to know that he would be helpin’ me along where I needed it.

He was there when I got robbed all them times, there when I felt alone, there when I dropped my sack of cans in the river, but also there when I heard bullets whizzing by my head, there when them big grasshoppers came, and there when we was about to be torn to shreds by them dogs.  He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I guess forsake means like when Judas did what he did.

Yeah, that.  He’d never do that.

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