I walked into the light and stood before a large fountain with ducks and geese happily paddling around. There was a park behind the fountain leading to a park with a wooden footbridge over a large stream leading to a gymnasium complex. Behind me was a large auditorium and a beautiful college campus. I was back at my alma mater, a Christian junior college in Kansas. I knew he was still with me. I looked straight ahead and spoke,
"Why are we here, Mr. Brown?"
"Walk towards the foot bridge, there's someone you need to see."
It was about 4:30 in the afternoon on a sunny April day. Leaning on the bridge was a young man in khakis, a white dress shirt with a loosened brown tie and a briefcase. He was looking absently at the water below. His expression was rapt, and it looked like there was the beginning of a tear at the corner of his eye. He had a bible in his hand opened to the book of II Corinthians. Verse 21 had been highlighted with a yellow marker.
It was myself again, almost twenty years younger.
"A.C., do you remember what happened on this day and why its so important?"
"I do...I had just finished a theology class on redemption. It was so outstanding because I had never understood what it meant to be righteous. I had never understood
that I didn't have to try to make God like me anymore. I didn't have to try to not sin. Jesus' death on the cross took care of all that for me. If I just depended on this fact in simple faith, I would never have to try so hard and fail over and over and over again."
"Why was that so important to you?"
"Because I always grew up thinking I could never be good enough, I could never keep from sinning. I always thought that the problem was me, and everyone else had it together. I always thought I was the failure, I was the weirdo, but it wasn't true. I went to altar over and over to get saved. I kept trying and trying to be good and failing over and over. That's why this was so important. This one truth changed everything for me."
There was silence for about four minutes. My younger self put his bible back in his briefcase and started walking towards the dorms. Brown finally spoke.
"There's another stop waiting for you..."
The door appeared at the end of the bridge and we walked through to another sunny place.
Thanks for reading,
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine