Not at ALL What You Thought

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ten Acres and a Mule

My car filled with the smell of old cigarettes. The young man wasn’t smoking at the time (and I’ve never smoked), but you know what the memory of cigarettes in your clothes does to the general vicinity regardless. I was taking him home from class. The brakes had gone out on his car, and then somebody’d had his car towed from the place where he had left it.

“God’s tryina tell me something,” my student said. “Takin everything away so I can see straight, get my life straight.” I pointed out that God had been known to do that sometimes.

“But He hasn’t taken Himself away, remember,” I said.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “Life’s good right now,” he added, “even though it’s hard to raise a child without a good job when you’re just young.” He was right. I pointed out that raising children was hard for anybody, but I congratulated him for wanting to make something better of himself. He wants to be an architect. He told me about a home he saw by accident while standing on a roof, working on another house.

“I could see the ‘no trespassing’ signs. My boy said, ‘I don’t care how pretty it is,’ but it was the most beautiful house I’d ever seen.” I pointed out that the ability to see beauty was a good thing, that We needed more young men who wanted to create things.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said. His dream, he said, was to design beautiful homes and then hire his friends and family to build them.

“The plan's in place. I just have to get there. I just want my ten acres and a mule,” he said.
Ten acres?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “That’s all I want. Ten acres is a lot, you know. That’d be enough for me.”

Lord Jesus, my brother, bless our young brothers and sisters who aren't greedy, no, not even when they dream.


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