In the library at school, the librarian read my class a book, “Henry’s Freedom Box”. It was a true story about a slave who was so desperate to be free that he built a wooden crate and mailed himself to Pennsylvania. Along the way he was thrown onto a freight car and tossed about, but he finally made it to freedom. Even though it was a children’s book, it was still disturbing to imagine the discomfort of traveling in a small crate, at times upside down for days, in order to be free. As an adult, I realized some of the other issues…..like no food or water, the human waste issue….basically this guy decided he would either be dead or free, one or the other.
I was thinking about this a lot today. There are several spiritual parallels that I came up with here. Scripture abounds with references to our freedom in Christ such as Col. 1:4 “Christ has purchased our freedom”; Heb 9:15 “….freed from the penalty of the sins…” Rom 7:24, “Who will free me from this life.” And the list could just keep on going. I was thinking about this guy’s determination. I think sometimes I take my freedom in Christ for granted. I dabble in sin and don’t fully realize the greatness of having been redeemed. Henry wasn’t going back into slavery. No way, no how! So why do we tend to drift back into our old ways that held us captive instead of walking in the light of freedom?
My other train of thought beyond Christ’s saving redemption was the very specific freeing from addiction. I think Henry’s journey is a pretty good parallel for those among us who have been freed from an addiction. It was a hard, tough, smelly, uncomfortable journey. But the freedom at the end of the journey was worth every single discomfort.
“Henry’s Freedom Box” was a good reminder to me about the beautiful freedom that I have because of Christ. It was also a reminder to me that sometimes there are tough times on the journey, but freedom is always worthwhile.
Just one more note – Henry had help from other people. Other people have played such a huge role in my life and my discovery of who I am and who God has created me to be. I don’t want to be too busy to walk alongside other people. That’s a pretty big struggle for me…finding time during the school year for friendships and close relationships.