Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I Saw The Light

Telling this story has been an internal struggle for the last couple of months. I suppose the reason being is it's not my story and it was told to me in confidence so many years ago. However, due to the world today and what I see as a society of folks that have either misplaced or lost God all together, I thought it most appropriate.

Generally what I see in most instances are folks with a real lack of understanding and knowing. Given how fast everything is within this digital world we have all become so accustomed to, there is very little time spent just being still. And to know as well as understand God, you have to be still. Not to mention quiet.

With this in mind and given I have decided to let loose this story, some preliminary color for background is in order.

When I was little, probably around twelve or so, we lived with my grandmother. My mother, father and younger sister all lived in the same house my father was raised in along with my grandmother who lived on the other side of the house within her own quarters.

Attending Saint Luke's Methodist Church every Sunday, my grandmother met a man by the name of Lon T. Little. They fell in love and she decided to marry at what most would consider to be a very late age in life. I had never had a living grandfather before so I was excited with this prospect.

Lon, by all accounts, was a simple man and to appreciate this story you must understand this. He was kind, generous and one of the most loving people I have ever known. There was absolutely no presence of selfishness and if I had to label the man, he was truly a saint. And if you knew my grandmother, one would have to be just to live with her. I loved my grandmother but I can tell you it was all black and white. You colored outside her lines and all hell would break loose.

Lon and I became extremely close which I always thought was unusual given we weren't related nor did I have anything in common with the man. As mentioned, he was simple and could be quite child like at times. For instance, he was a Family Circle cartoon guy and I was more of a Far Side cartoon guy if that helps give some perspective.

Most of the time spent with Lon was under his direction in the yard. I helped build fences, shape his shrubs, plant flowers and tend to his garden. Later in my teens, I had become old enough to drive which meant lots of odd jobs under his strict direction.

I don't know why he shared this particular story with me. Possibly because he was getting older and felt that he needed to give it to someone. I've always kept the story to myself as I just never have felt like telling it. Not to mention it started out with and I quote, "You won't believe this but..." so you can just imagine what he was feeling when he let it loose.

So without further ado, here we go...

Lon was born and raised in the hills of Arkansas. He came from a very modest farming background raising everything that would wind up on the family's kitchen table. Other items grown or made were taken into town and sold for money which would pay for coffee beans, dry goods, materials, tools, clothes, shoes, etc...

If you were to classify his family at that time, I suppose you could say that he came from very poor conditions. I never got that from him though as to me, he was just a hard worker and always appreciative of what he had. He literally had two speeds which were work and rest which made for some interesting work experiences for me. He wasn't much on breaks or sitting around.

During harvest time in October of 1929, the world came to an end. Or at least America thought it did as the Great Depression swept a hand of poverty across our nation stripping money away from just about everyone. Our country became lost and drowning in hopelessness losing all direction and faith within our own economy as well as the elected leadership. Let me know if all of this sounds familiar but I always say there's no comparison when in a downed economy you still see people with Starbucks coffee.

With no where to turn for money, panic soon struck a young Lon Little and he became extremely concerned with the future of his family. As the thirties rolled around, nothing was getting any better. They could still farm but no one could afford to buy anything and without money, there were too many holes to fill when it came to running a farm.

Lost and afraid, Lon stumbled into his own barn and dropped to his knees. Trembling in fear, he quietly asked God what was to become of his family. This question was answered by what Lon described to me as a light. It began outside of the barn and streamed through the cracks of the wood until finally filling up the entire structure. In his words, the light was actually inside the room and prevented him from seeing due to how bright it was. This was followed by warmth throughout his entire body which he interpreted as inner peace. A peace in knowing that everything was going to work out and his own worries were pointless.

And as the story goes, the world would mend and Lon would travel through a very robust life with a wife, children, grandchildren and even a couple of step grandchildren he managed to inherit.

For many of us who never stop long enough to seek guidance or look for answers in the quiet of our own surroundings, we will never be relieved from the woes of this world. Using this story for guidance, how unbelievable it may be for some of you, I would advise finding a good barn to crawl into. You never know what kind of light may shine through the darkest of places.

In his memory and given he loved music more than anything...this one is for Lon. God bless you my friend and assuming where you are today, I hope you found some good sunglasses.