Monday, April 15, 2013

Walmart and Window Rock--Gallup on the Road to Damascus part III

Our story so far...I was coming back from Window Rock where I had what could only be described as a spiritual experience, as I reach the outskirts of Gallup, my phone rang)

It was a phone call from one of my law clients and he was not happy. Apparently, I had missed something on a document and it could cost him dearly. That mistake could cost me even worse. As I was in a parked car in a Walmart parking lot in Gallup, New Mexico, nearly 200 miles away on I40, I had no way of knowing whether this was true. While my phone had reception, my internet was still out.

After a ten minute tirade, he hung up on me, threatening to sue me or worse. He had vowed to "mess me up for good" except he didn't use the word "mess." I sensed oncoming complaint and perhaps even a lawsuit, but had I just received a death threat? I was actually glad that I could not check out his record on the internet.

A homeless man started to approach my vehicle, but he literally ran away when he saw my pained expression. What did he see on my face?

It was late on a Friday afternoon, I attempted a few phone calls, but everyone had already gone home for the weekend. I really had no idea whether I had made a fatal error, it was impossible to determine there in the lot.

The experience that I'd had in Window Rock a few minutes earlier seemed like it had been in a different timeline. I had a vision that in this timeline, I was about to lose everything, starting with my car which was making funny noises as it idled. Would my car even make it home? Would my home even be standing when I returned or would it be "messed up?"

For the first time in a long time, I wanted to cry . . .

And yet something gripped me in that Walmart parking lot in Gallup, New Mexico near I-40. A voice told me that everything would be all right and that I had nothing to fear. I just had to have faith.

I'd like to say that all my worries went away, but they didn't. I was literally at a crossroads, where the old Route 666, the Devil's Highway hit the old 66, the road to California, the old promised land.
Part of me wanted to stay there in the parking lot for the next forty years. Another part of me wanted to go to I-40 and like Bruce Springsteen, take a right at the light, keep straight on till night and be on my own.

Still, something kept me going EAST on that 150 mile stretch back home. I would like to think it was faith, faith that everything would work out, faith that there was a divine plan. I have no recollection of the rest of the weekend.

On Monday, I was able to get a hold of the other side, change one line on a document and have it signed by the judge before noon and filed right after lunch. When the gentleman called back that afternoon, all was well. He actually apologized for losing his temper. He even promised to pay me the rest of the money he owed me.

Many days when I am down, I think of those two moments-- the moment of pure joy staring at the Window Rock, and that moment of pure despair an hour later in the parking lot. I thought I had learned about faith at Window Rock. Actually, I learned about faith in a Walmart parking lot in Gallup, New Mexico.

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