' Your Shoes ’
                            
My testimony to coming back to God

Driving back to the hot humid Valley without AC was something I  was dreading, but what I was
really dreading more, at that moment, was the cold silent treatment that my girlfriend had placed on
me. We were in one of our 'few tense silent still moments' where we did not talk to each other
because something went wrong. We had not said a single word to each other since we left her
mom's place back on the Rez and that was  more than 2 hours ago. By this time, my nerves were at
a tipping point and I was mad. I was mad about the silent treatment that I know, I did not deserved.  
And then, that is when it happened.  I did the unmentionable. I broke one of the most highest
unwritten rules that Navajos adhere too. I broke the
 'KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT UNTIL IT BLOWS
OVER'
rule.

"What's wrong?!?!"  "Did I do something?!?!?" "why are you...."   You know... there are reasons why
rules  are not meant to be broken. My girlfriend counter attacked my broken rule by hitting me
while I was driving our 95 ton blue whale beast (blue 1975 Lincoln Mark IV ). Man!!...we were lucky
that I kept control of that car during that whole ordeal! Even if I did go off the road, the blue whale
would have plowed a smooth road for ADOT. Man, we were lucky that nothing had happened.

Then I realized the true meaning behind the old age Navajo unwritten  rule. So, I had to revert back
to keeping my mouth shut and wait till it blew over...... Or  wait until..... I made plans. While I  driving
with both of my hands clutched to our huge boat's nautical ship wheel (steering wheel....big
steering wheel), I kept my mouth shut and started to make plans for our next stop at her sisters
place. Her sister lived in the next community. And there is where I would take action.

We drove up to her sister's place and I jumped out of the car, opened the trunk, grabbed my
clothes, my white Hi-top Nike shoes, and I started walking (some plan!). Throwing the car keys to
her sister - I said
"Here!, Do what you want with it!"  Screams and yelling quickly  followed, but I
tuned everything out except for my sons cry. I did not know what I was doing. My emotions had
overwhelmed me and I could not turn back now. I started walking.

I walked to the tree line on the nearest hill and crept back far enough where I could not be seen,
but close enough to have a full view of the main road. I watched and waited for about  an hour and
sure enough, I finally saw our blue whale going back and forth. I don't remember how many times it
went back and forth, but when I did not see it again. I knew she finally had left for good. I waited for
another half hour to come out from hiding and went back to her sister's place. I knocked on the
door and her sister answered. I asked where my girlfriend had gone. She said
"She went home."  I
thought to myself
 'she must have gone back to her mom's  place'.  So out of amusement, I asked
"Which home?".    She replied  "Mesa.".   'She went back to Mesa? Wow....' I thought to myself.   

As I reached the main road, the sun had already set behind the hill. It was Sunday and I had to work
the next day and she went back to Mesa.
'Now what?'  I said to myself.  I walked to the edge of town
and now my shadow had left me for the night.  Stars slowly filled the sky and traffic seemed to slow
down. It was going to be a long walk and not to mention, a  dangerous walk. I did not want to get hit
by a car nor cause an accident. So every time I  heard  a car coming,  I carefully walked off the road
about 10 feet into the waist deep grass and waited. I waited for the car or truck to pass and then I
would get back on the road.

What a mess I was in. I reached the top of the hill where the last convenience store stood.  It was
now quarter after 11 and I was happy that the store was still open.  I reached for my  wallet and I
only had enough for a 32oz fountain drink. After I bought the drink with my last dollar,  I walked out
the store and took a deep breath.  I looked over to my left and saw a pay phone.
'I could call my
oldest sister collect and she could come pick  me up'
I thought to myself,  but she is going through a
lot right now and I did not want to add any more burdens on her shoulders. Especially when
everyone was looking up to her in  place of our mom, who had passed away over a year ago. So, I
started walking again.

It was dark and the only way that I knew  I was on the road was the ease of walking on the
pavement and the faint white painted line on the edge of the road. I looked up and saw how bright
the stars were, but they were only bright enough to outline the tall dark trees that lined the
roadside. And there I was........alone and...

"What the hell am I doing?"......." I'm about 130 miles away from home and there is nobody, but me!
"......."What am I doing out here?!? "......" hmmmm?"......." What do you want from me?!?! "........" What
do you want ?!? " ......."I know you're listening!! " ..........." I know better than that!!"......." I know that
you can hear me!!!".. ....." What do you want from me?!?!"

Softly sharing my gentle thoughts with God I.....  Yeah right!.....I was shouting at God. I was yelling
and arguing with God because I already knew what he wanted me to do. I was just trying to avoid
the issue.  I was being selfish and I wanted to live my life! But I knew, what I was doing was wrong. I
was living with my girlfriend without being married and we had a son together.  I was convicted.   I
was convicted and I knew what I needed to do.

"God" ......." I know what you want me to do"......." I know God, I know"......"Please forgive me
Lord"......"Forgive me"..... "I have no right to act like this"......." I know better than that "......" Mom
taught me better than that"...... ......"Forgive me" ..... " I know what you want me to do Lord"........."
and I will do it" ......... "I will do it your way"....." and I will marry her and be the husband and father
that I need to be" ......."I will do it your way, Lord"......"I will do it your way" ....

And for the first time that night,  I felt better. And for the first time in a long time,  I had peace.

Well, it was past midnight and as you might have guess it.  I was still walking, but I had peace. I
started to sing old songs that we use to sing at our house services that  missionaries use to hold
for us every Tuesday night.
" At the Cross, at the cross where we first saw the light and the burden
of my heart rolled away....."
For about 20 minutes, I was singing and just being jolly I guess. Until I
realized that I needed to get home.

I remember, I looked down smiling on the faint white line while I was walking and I asked God  
"Lord ...... I need a riiiiide".   And no more than  15 minutes had past, I heard a car coming.  And what
did I do......... I walked off the road  about 10 feet into the tall grass and waited. Why?  Because, I did
not want to get hit by a car  and cause an accident and I was testing God ( sort of ). Well, the car
was a truck and it passed. I took a  deep breath and held it and waited for the truck to stop. Still
holding my breath,  I waited........ and  waited......... and .....   waiiiteeed. I finally exhaled and said   
"
Ok,  you can stop now" ............"anytime Lord"............... "anytime" ............... "Hello, I need a ride"
.........  The red lights then disappeared over the hill  and my heart sank.  
'AAHHH COME ON!!  You
got to be kidding me!!'   
 I yelled out!  ........................ OK,  I am kidding ........  the brakes lights did
come on and the truck did stop.   

I ran to the truck and there were 2 Navajo guys going back to Mesa. I asked them how  they saw me
and they said ...
"your shoes" (my white hi-top Nikey shoes hanging from my  bag). Within 2 hours, I
was dropped off within a half mile from where I lived. With an empty  fountain drink cup in my hand,  
I reached the apartment complex and said  
"God, if she is there, I will marry her "..... And lo and
behold... she was sitting on the stairs  crying. We hugged each other and while I held her, I  told
her that we are going to get married. We cried and hugged a little longer until she told me that she
had locked herself out of the apartment and that our son was in there alone. I had the extra key.

The first Wednesday night, we went straight to church, I rededicated my life to Christ  again and I
asked the Pastor to marry us. 2 weeks later with marriage counseling,  marriage license,  borrowed
rings and borrowed clothes, we were married. We did not have a beautiful wedding with hundreds
of guests. It was only my sister, her family, my cousin and the Pastor. I wondered if my Mom was
there, she would have thought that  it was one of most beautiful wedding she had every seen.  Our
wedding reception was awesome. We had Little Caesar's' Pizza and Coke. That is all we could
afford, but that was okay because I was at peace with God.

Marriage is a precious thing. And if you are shacking it up together or living together  without
being married, I pray that you will get counseling and get straight with God.  
No excuses. No  -  ' We
are saving up money for a wedding.' or ' I am waiting until we feel  right.' or ' Marriage is just a
piece of paper.'  or  ' We are waiting until Summer.' or my  favorite one ' We are living together to
make sure we are right for each other?'
 Stop  making excuses! Marriage is sacred. Get straight
with God......

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.”
Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

Last note:
I never got the names of the two Navajo men that gave me a ride that night nor did I ever see them
again. I just knew one of them was from Gallup NM.
Also, I have been married to my wife for over 24 years now, I have 4 kids and a 4 legged, hairy, little
'Cujo' (Chihuahua-Poodle mix) named 'Skittles'.
God Bless......