The Wind Beneath My Wing

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The Door To Freedom

December 17th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Full Moon Over the Applachian Mountains

Full Moon Over the Applachian Mountains

Many years ago at a state prison just outside of Huntsville, Texas they were adding a new addition on to the prison.  This was back before the days before we had over one hundred prisons.  Matter of fact, Texas had just a handful at the time.

Things were very different then, but guarding prisoners was much the same as today.  At this particular prison they were constructing a new cell block.  It was on the west side of the main prison.  This particular prison had one nine foot high chain link fence with barbed wire on top.  There was an immaculate yard that was constantly groomed.  Located  on and around the yard were beautiful flower beds with every kind of flower imaginable.  These beds were perfectly maintained. Actually, all over the prison grounds were beautiful flower beds.  They lined the roads and were even around the employee houses.

Every so many yards along the giant link fence were towers or pickets as they were called in those days.   In the pickets there was a guard who was heavily armed.  His arsenal may consist of rifles, shotguns, pistols and even a machine gun.   There were also gates.  There was a front gate and a back gate in those days.  At the gates people were screened for entrance and to exit.  You would not want the wrong people going either way out of these gates, especially those dressed in white.  You would not want someone from inside escaping into the free world as the prisoners called it.

One day late in the afternoon as the sun was going down  the guard who was high upon the picket was looking out across the beautiful green yard and he noticed a mockingbird.  In his boredom he began to watch the bird maneuver around the prison yard.
Suddenly the mockingbird did something unusual.  He hopped upon what is known as a crayfish chimney.  A crayfish chimney is simply a pile of dried mud that a crayfish has push up out of his hole after a heavy rain.
The mockingbird stood upon the mud chimney for several seconds and then tilted his head sideways and looked down in the hole.  The guard on the tower watched with great fascination as the bird would hop upon the mud chimney and look.  He watched the bird perform this exercise for several minutes.  Suddenly he began to wonder…….just what was this bird looking at?  His curiosity got the best of him and he picked up the telephone and called a guard inside the prison.

The guard quickly came out to see just what was so urgent that the man on the picket wanted to show him.  The guard on the picket pointed out the mud chimney way across the yard and the mockingbird.  He told him what the mockingbird’s peculiar behavior was and requested that he walk over and look down in the hole and  see what the bird was looking at.  The guard hesitated in disbelief at his request as if to say, “you have got to be kidding”, then preceeded with haste across the yard.


Upon arriving at the small mud chimney he knelt down and looked.  To his amazement he did not see the darkness that he fully expected.  What he saw was a light.  Yes, the men in white were tunneling out.  They had chiseled through several inches of concrete floor into the earth below.  They had set up lights and communications and all of the dirt had been carefully flushed down the commodes  in the cell block.  They were almost to the fence ………..just a few feet from freedom.

A mockingbird had given their secret away.  As these desperate men were just a few feet from the door to certain freedom I am reminded about true freedom.  About a door and a way to which was not designed  by human hands and was not constructed in secrecy.  It is a portal wide enough that all men, women and children can go through and it has a simple key.

Jesus said in Revelations 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  He will show you not only to the door to freedom, but eternal life.

There are many people in the world that are trying to find the way  to freedom.  The next time you see someone trying to tunnel out,  show them the door………….to Jesus.




Steven A. Johnson
(C) December 2008

Tags: Thoughts

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dwight Moody // Jan 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Man, I do remember those days.

  • 2 no prescription online pharmacy // Jul 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Are you a professional journalist? You write very well.

  • 3 Steve // Aug 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    No I am not a professional journalist who loves to write. Thanks for stopping by.