It was Veterans month. The fly fishing equipment was all stowed away, the high mountain streams secured in frozen slumber. It was time to crack out the hunting gear. I borrowed my son Jarrod’s new over-under 20 gage for a day in the field with a group of men I have come to know and love. As I watched the dogs cover the fields and the dry river bed, I had a wonderful sense of being with my Dad. My father has been dead now for some time, and his body lies in Fort Logan Cemetery—our local version of the D.C. Arlington Cemetery. His soul however, freely resides in Heaven. He came to walk the field with me this November.
I was surprised, because most of our father-son times were spent outdoors fishing together. He and I never went hunting; In fact, after the war, my father came home and sold all of his guns and hunting gear. We never talked about why, but I think I understand. He carried a weight of guilt with him like the body of death the Apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to the Romans. Some subjects are simply not talked about, only felt.
It was a tradition for my father and I, after a day spent on the rivers, to go eat steaks and drink Banquet Coors with a shot of Jim Beam. So in honor of my father’s presence during my hunting trip with the boys, I ordered a Coors with a shot of Jim Beam once we landed somewhere for dinner. My friends and I also all ordered a hearty steak dinner.
It was a toast to dad, after all these years gone he came for a visit!
My father’s spirit is free of the body of death. His soul can come and go; transitioning from Heaven to earth and back again. My father came to stroll the field of eastern Colorado with me, creating new memories for me to cherish. I miss my father every day, and when he joined me for a hunting trip, I experienced a bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven that lasted all day long! The Kingdom of Heaven is closer than we think and everyone can experience it repeatedly; sometimes for an entire day! The freedom Heaven brings is without boundaries.
This Veteran’s Month, I was especially reminded of the sacrifices our service members make for our country’s freedom; and I was filled with such joy, remembering that our Father in Heaven made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom for eternity!