While organizing my thoughts in preparation for writing this essay I realized I have always had a revelation of my journey. The Journey I speak of is my walk with the lord. From its outset to its completion and where my final destination would be. That Journey was designed when a pure heart was marked by a Godly man. My journey began in the latter part of January 1966, in the middle bedroom of a shotgun house. Located on a dead end street in Louisville KY. Even though I was only 4 years old, I can distinctly remember the vivid images of my paralyzed grandfather’s room. The smell of Lysol and the crisp, stark white sheets. The clanking of the shiny mental bar dangling from over his head. The soft, smiling face of my grandfather. At the time my grandfather seemed old to me, however he was a young man of 52 when he was paralyzed from the waist down in a Cole mining accident where our family lived in the Appalachian Mountains of Pikeville KY, and a place called Henry Clay. He had tragically lost the use of his legs just one year before. Through out that long grueling first year of recovery, he moved in with our family. Times were hard, but to my parents that did not matter, because family meant something. Our family during that time consisted of my mother, my dad, and three older sisters and me. Even though life at four was a whimsical time, I had moments when I was a little lonely and needed a friend to talk to. My mother was very busy with my older sisters and my grandfather. During this misplaced and isolated time in my life God reached down an orchestrated a journey for me that would last a life time.
To begin, when I was four I was a mixture between a like a blank slate and a sponge. No preconceived ideas of God or church or even ideas of what life was suppose to be like. I believed everything I was told, and I had an imagination of a dreamer. So my time with my grandfather was the start of my knowledge and experience of another world. Which was the kingdom of heaven?
During the early part of 1966, my bed ridden and equally lonesome grandfather found a friend. Likewise I found a playmate that had ulterior plans. My grandfather would call me over to his bed and say “climb up here “Tee: and sit beside me” That was my family nick name”Tee” He would open up this box of treasures” which he usually kept hid away under his bed. I remember he would pull out a gold ornate metal box; all nestled in another box filled with the previous Christmas’s chocolate covered cherries and several letters he had received from his other children, nine in all. Who lived in various states and had avoided the responsibility of a frail and detereating dad.
Furthermore, after what seemed like an eternity he would open the box of cherries and share one with me before we would settle down for the next surprise in his shiny mettle box. Then he would route through the box for the surprise. This infamous box held his most prized possessions....