Thursday, July 25, 2013


Toward Freedom XVII


I met Craig through his friend John, who was my randomly assigned roommate at Colorado University. In some ways it was a good year; John had a car, and we found a sled someplace, and I knew the roads in the mountains. We'd drive up to Lickskillet Gulch (so named because miners would lose control of their wagons and roll into the canyon, going lickety-skillet) and bomb down the north-slope icy road, three on the sled. It was a tight fit, and on one run Craig nearly gave up his ability fo father children, courtesy of a good-sized rock well frozen to the road. I'm not sure how we came out of that with laughter instead of injuries. Three big men on a sled.
    At the end of the college year I was released from further educational responsibilities. I ended up working in Kansas, which lasted about four months. In November, remembering the warmth of those cold days in the mountains, I quit the job and drove back to Colorado.
    This is something I'd never do today. Today is full of planning and feasibility and organization. In those days planning consisted of seeing if there were any gas in the tank and some money for more. Future? What's that? I won't last that long anyway. The pattern continued the night of my arrival. I had never been to Greeley and had no real idea of where I was going. All I knew was Craig's address at the University of Northern Colorado. Eventually I found it, much to his surprise. We went over to talk with a friend of his, Kathy, and she turned to Jesus that night. Or morning.
    I found a room to rent for a time. Soon Craig and I found a mobile home for rent and moved into that. Life in a space forty feet long, eight feet wide. Cold in the winter, especially when Craig took all the blankets. I cooked, he studied, neither of us cleaned house. We became locally famous.
    Christmas came around, a time of year I endure more than enjoy. We went to his parents' house in Denver, and suddenly Christmas became something more. A family that laughed with each other, not at. They enjoyed being together. It was like magic to me, and although I didn't recognize it then my internal judges were getting into the act.
    Forty years later, living with the Camachos in Lancaster, I remembered those days in Denver. Where have I been? Chasing my tail? I'd guided myself into a deep hole far from freedom. I've spent quite some time beating myself up for those "lost  years," but who's to say they're actually lost? God is ever patient. If the lesson takes 40 years to teach, that's the time he'll spend. One who has been a slave for his entire life must first learn to recognize slavery for what it is. All of my decisions have been based on that foundation. It is reality. God has a different reality.

2013 July 25

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