There are three distinct memories that I recall from my preschool years…
First, I remember playing in a wooden sandbox under Carolina pines in my back yard. I stepped out of the sand to walk towards my parents and neighbors, across the green grass of the lawn. Following just steps behind me was a five foot long black snake that had sought shelter from the heat underneath that wooden box. I don’t recall seeing what became of the snake, but I know that several neighborhood men, led by my father, chased that snake with shovels and rakes and I was told it would never bother me again.
Second, I look back on an evening running for my life from a rather low to the ground basset hound that was chasing me through yard after yard on that street. My mother was chasing him and to the casual observer, it would have looked as though she was frantically chasing me, as the poor hound was barely seen in the setting sun and tall grass. My mother pleaded with me to stop, that dog didn’t want to hurt me and wasn’t really that scary – but he was spurred on by my frantic running. If he had tried to hurt me, she would have kicked him hard across the street – her main objective was to pick me up if I would just stop and let her. Dog chasing me, mom chasing dog, all of us yelling, crying and and a sweaty mess. Eventually I ran out of steam and she scooped me up and the dog stopped and stared bewildered.
Third, I reminisce jumping on a brand new sparkly pink bicycle at dusk and taking the first hill I could find – flying fast down the road – face first, smack into a mailbox. Teary eyed and with a skinned knee, I found my dad who fixed me and the bike and encouraged me to try again, although this time, at a slower pace and not the hill on the first try. We would work up to it together.
This blog is a lot like those memories. Freedom Prayer is a community of believers who help one another with the stories that hinder us, shape us, and bring us closer to freedom. Sometimes we are the neighbors with a shovel, chasing the snake that was hidden from site just underneath, with a potential for great damage. Mind you, we don’t kill the snake; that job has already been done. We just watch in glory as the child sees what was done for her.
Sometimes, we are chasing hounds that really aren’t that threatening, just some exaggerated lies hooked onto the collar, that make us run for our life. If we’re honest, sometimes we are the ones running scared, even though the dog is harmless, and safe hands desperately want to scoop us up. We’d rather run than trust the safety.
And sometimes, in ignorance, presumption or straight up rebellion, we fly down hills that are too steep and run face first into disaster. We need a good Father to clean us up and set us back on the right path.
So here we will share truths, insights and testimonies of freedom. Of lives rescued and redeemed, of stories set right, of lies traded for truths and always of the finished work of the One who defeated the snake, scooped us up, and Whose safe hands receive us and bind up broken places. We’ll go with each other and ask the One who knows…