As I sat at my desk listening, I knew I was going to have to take a stand, somehow, against the language and jokes I was hearing. No, I was not in school; I was at work, working for the Navy Department in Washington, D.C. My boss and his assistants were commanding officers taking their tour of duty in D.C. straight from commanding ships at sea. Why didn’t they notice I was a lady, only 19 years old (and so naive) ? Yet the Holy Spirit kept telling me to stand firm in my convictions of faith and the “world” would not touch me.

Even though I was very new at handling a secretarial position and they had been quite patient with all my mistakes in the office, I knew I had not made mistakes in my moral conduct before them. So I politely stood, faced the four of them and said, “Excuse me. Evidently you have not been aware that a lady is in your presence. I don’t think I have done anything to make you consider me anything less than one. Until you clean up your language in front of me, I will be down the hall. I will not return to this office.” As their mouths dropped I turned and walked out. A half hour later all four of them were in the administrative office making their apologies to me along with explanations of surprise that this young girl had come to Washington, D.C. and not changed to the “D. C. ways” of morality. From that time on God, using those same men, surrounded me with much protection from all the dirty jokes and language that were so prevalent among the military officers.

Another time I was sitting in for the Captain’s secretary and he called me into his office. As I walked in he threw a quarter on his desk ordering me to go and get him some cigarettes. As I prayed silently for guidance I tried to say as nicely as I could that I would rather not. Now this Captain was a rather rough, tough kind of guy. All the CO’s walked cautiously around him as did most of the civilian employees. He was known to dismiss an individual for no reason at all. As he shouted out several oaths demanding an explanation it was obvious I was in trouble. I felt so insignificant, and just knew that comment would mean my job. In a fumbling way I tried to explain I was a Christian and had strong convictions against smoking or even buying cigarettes. I also explained I had not bought any for my bosses and would not for him. He shouted the more at me that the cigarettes were for him, not me, and he had to have them.

God helped me stand firm as I explained to this officer that he and I knew that, but that the people I would be buying them from or anyone around watching would not know that, and my witness to them by action would not be good. Then with God’s boldness I said, “Sir, I know that you can fire me and that is okay, for God is my protector and He will take care of me and see that I get another job.” I left. Minutes later he came steamrolling past my desk in the front office with steam shooting out his ears. I sat and prayed.

Several days later as I was again sitting in for his secretary, this same Captain made his way out to her desk where I was typing. (Usually he just yelled from his office when he wanted us.) As I looked up my heart started pounding–but he was smiling! He told me how much he appreciated and admired me for taking a stand. Not only did he apologize, he also told me to come to him immediately if anyone, employee or visitor, made any kind of pass at me or off-color remark to me. He too became a very good friend and “protector.” I praised my God for guiding me again through a tough situation and holding me with a strong Hand.
Many times I thought of how my parents had sent me off with their blessings and trust in spite of all the calls and comments our well meaning friends had made against my going to Washington, D.C. My parents seemed to understand my need to get out on my own and they knew God was not only my “Best Friend” but “GOD” of my life. It was such an exciting time for me as I put my faith in action, on my own without my parents there to guide me, and God did a lot of proving to me how He is in total control.

[Mrs. David Taylor is a homemaker, active church member, and vibrant witness to the Lord’s goodness.]