A story about faith
There he was, standing in the middle of that dusty road. He was huge, at least seven foot high and he had the arms of a lumber jacker. He had a grey beard, I think he must have been at least eighty years old and he wore dungarees like in the old days of The West. He wore a large hat and his clothes were dusty and worn.
“If you go any further I must tell you this first.”, he said with a voice of authority. I had been walking for days now and had not met a single person. His voice sounded like thunder after days of only birds whistling and leaves rustling in the wind.
Somewhere in the distance a hawk screamed and ducked down to it’s prey. Nearby a rabbit ran to the shade at the side of the road. There were high ferns below the trees at the left where the edge of the forest was and fields with grass, heather and bushes as far as the eyes could see on the hills to the right to the mountains at the horizon.
I stood still and looked at him, the sun in my back. A large backpack stood beside him on the ground and he had a large rifle slung on his back. That was a good sign, he wasn’t going to kill me, at least not now. “If you go any further you will have to listen to what I have to tell you.”, he repeated himself. I stepped closer and said hello to him and told him my name. “Well I am Adam and you better sit down George.” and so I did.
How far have you walked George?” And I told him. I had been walking for at least three weeks through the mountains, kneeling at every creek to drink, ate the berries that I found and even had a chance or two to shoot a rabbit and make a fire to roast it. But I didn’t tell him anything about the reason why I left the safety of the city in the first place.
“So in fact you are halfway then?” he asked. I don’t know sir I replied. “Don’t ‘sir’ me, I am Adam, call me Adam.” I offered him a bit of my beef jerkey but he reclined and said he got some of his own. “Listen son, I know you are halfway, I can tell by the way you walk. You left the place where you came from in anger but by now you have slowed down your pace and your mind is more at ease now.”
I didn’t have the guts to interject and claim otherwise and I decided to listen and not talk. I was curious about what he had to say to me. And how on earth could he know I left home in a hurry and angry?
“Two or three more weeks walking and you will find what you are looking for, peace. That is what I came to tell you here on this hill. You will find peace and people you love there, you are already halfway. But a lot needs to be done until you are ready for that. You will have to climb your own mountains and I don’t mean those back there.” and he pointed to the mountains at the end.
“You will have to overcome hatred that is still in you, the biggest climb you face. And then there is this thing called forgiveness, a long walk too do you understand?” I nodded. “ And when you get there George, you face your biggest challenge ever. You will have to show them love.”
“Do you read the Bible son?” he asked me. I said I did some time ago and he asked me for my Bible. I haven’t brought it with me I said. “Well, that’s another thing you have to sort out before you get there George, mighty important that is. You see, a lot of answers to your troubles can be found in the Bible, it’s as plain as that.” How do you know I am angry? How do you know I left home in anger?
How do you know I am halfway to where I am going to? How do you know all these things? I asked. “ Listen son, how I know is not important, how you get there, that is what is really important right now. Here, you take my Bible, you will need it for guidance. What’s important is what I came here to tell you or you will perish along the way.”
“You see, I have walked your path, I know what anger is and I know what peace is too. I have walked the road you are on a long time ago and I overcame my burdens in the end. I climbed the same mountains and walked the same long walk in the grass fields too. And I just know my friend, I just know, you have to find peace.” I thank you for this Bible Adam, I said. He nodded and said it was fine.
You go your way now George, it’s the only right thing you can do.” and I stood up and shook his hand. Thanks again Adam I said. As I walked away I wondered how he could know I was there and what he meant with “I came here to tell you this.” So many questions in my head.
I looked back but to my surprise the road was empty, the man was gone.
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Ephesians 4 verse 26 NIV