Saturday, July 14, 2007

Global Warming Melted the Snowcaps so Now We Can See the Mountaintops More Clearly

Many years ago a boy grew up among a dusty Pueblo in New Mexico crooked between a gas station, a small market and a five-and-dime. The boy had sun kissed cheeks and felt nothing between his heels and the earth his family worked and lived upon. Together on Sundays they walked eight miles to church, holding hands, breathing the day and feeling their Sabbath clothing. The boy walking next to his father, the man’s passion for faith flowing down through his hand and into his son’s. As the boy knew crops rose to the sun, that night came after day he also knew he would become a preacher.

Far from the Pueblo his cracked and dated valise held all but his faith. He felt the big city, overlooked vice and embraced the people and their ways. He preached in a small storefront, was offered morning hours on a local radio station. Soon, all the other girls and boys who felt the earth of their Pueblos while growing up listened to the boy and remembered their churches and helped fill the city with kindnesses.

In much the same way a small Belgian farmer’s son worked and learned alongside his father. Their family tilled the land, and the father had a small tractor repair behind the house were he offered honest maintenance to the machines of the community. That boy knew also, as a stone falls to earth or an object in motion will come to rest, that he would grow to be an engineer.

As both boys grew the world became smaller and the possibilities of all we could accomplish as one emerged. And through this truer spirit of freedom, ingenuity and thought the boy from the Pueblo preached to his fellows. He taught and listened, and understood that he had been granted by them their leadership. But others to far away who never felt the earth and only knew cold cities became afraid.

Our Belgian mechanist embraced his fathers tenacity and craft, and was renowned for solving difficult technical problems. His disciplined mind addressed only it’s task, as was the way of a good scientist. Three of these tasks, however, led to the design of firearms. And these were drawn and produced to operate with the reliability and precision of a tractor repaired in a farmhouse shed by a man who knew that a family’s well-being relied on its operation.

In Los Angeles the boy held forth hope and led the children of Pueblos to embrace, forgive and accomplish all that God had put in their hearts. He asked them to glimpse a far-off vision of where their faith and patience and labor could take them. A thirst grew for this simple, natural spirit and the boy would travel about to quench it and lead the hands of people to that of God’s.

One other boy grew up. He had lived with many families. He spoke of no father. He gave no thought to his future which one day led him to the back seat of a Plymouth, across from a small, seedy hotel, with a Belgian rifle designed by John Browning in his lap.

The hopes of the Pueblos and the purity of a father's son spilled that day on the hotel’s cement balcony, dried, and disappeared from the earth. Today small boys in Pueblos wear Chinese shoes and watch television. Belgian fields are tilled, plowed, sown and reaped by maintenance free machines manned by computers. And father’s hands hold bars now, not children.

Every year that April fourth passes silently we fail all three.

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