It tells a story of a family trying to escape slavery. The family consisted of a dad, mom, and their teenage son. The family had experienced all the horrible things slaves experience. In addition to the abuse, the owners were planning to sell the son off. Not wanting their son to be sold, they resorted to desperate measures; they encouraged their son to runaway.
Can you comprehend the danger that comes with a slave running away? How hard of a decision, to be in a place so dire that running away from slave catchers is a better option.
So the parents instructed their son on how to get away and told him they would also run away and meet him. The meetup place was confirmed, which was a free state in the north.
Once the son had left, the parents also ran away. The son took a safer route, if there is such a thing. The parents took the route of the woods; underground.
The parents made it to the meetup place before the son. They were trying to adjust; trying to make a life for themselves as they waited for their son.
When the parents first arrived in this free northern state, a gentleman who met them sent them off to go in and change from their wet clothes.
There was a moment when the dad just stopped what he was doing and began to laugh. It was a deep, joyful laugh. The wife heard him and asked what was wrong. She wondered what was so funny. His response to her was, "We're free."
He went on to say, "We can laugh out loud, as loud as we want! We don't have to be quiet when we talk. We can do what we want! We're free!" And then they laughed together.
Take a second and think about what it must have been like to be a slave? Enduring harsh, cruel, inhumane treatment. And then escaping? What courage it must have taken to decide to go. How fearful it had to be along the way. Not being able to trust anyone. Having to live off what you have or what you find. Having the endurance to keep walking, sometimes swimming. To always be in hiding. To always be on guard; on edge.
Then you make it to a land. A land where literally, you just cross a state border and you step into freedom. As you walk, there is a point when one foot is in a state where you are hunted, not as a man or woman being sought after, but hunted as an animal. Because where that foot stands, you are not considered a man. You are registered on the roll of a slave owner as property. But the other foot, your leading foot, is standing in a land that is free. A land where you are a man, a woman. That foot is standing in a land where you can laugh, as loud as you want. It is a land of freedom.
The thoughts of what opens up for you because of the freedom is challenging. You are challenged because it is hard to think of one thing. It is hard to think of the next thing. It is hard because there are so many things you can now do There are so many things you can't even imagine because you were never able to think of them in the past. The thought of all that brings deep laughter. It brings joy!
What immediately came to mind, as I laughed out loud, walking down the street listening to them laugh, was how Jesus freed us. How I had been bought out of slavery.
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Just as the family had received so much that they laughed out loud, I too have received an even greater freedom; and eternal freedom. I am filled with joy. I too laughed out loud. It causes me to laugh, a deep joyful laugh. I am free. Jesus freed me.
You are free - LIVE!