General Ward walked with the same unshakeable swagger out of the prison as he did the day they tried to bury him in it. And though by the country's laws he was still convicted, as he passed through each layer of doors not one guard stepped to stop him.
In fact as he walked down the prison's driveway to the open chain link gate the director of the prison caught up alongside him and said, "I'm sorry for how I let them treat you. Please remember the kindnesses I gave to you when you come into--"
General Ward didn't even give him a nod. His gaze was locked on a young woman standing by a car on the other side of the gate: his daughter.
General Ward sat crosslegged with his hand on the handle of a coffee mug at a small plastic table in her backyard. He smiled at her.
She said, "It's just so surreal to finally meet my father. From what momma told me, I felt like I knew you. And I never stopped believing in you. I loved seeing every time you humbled the courts with your findings and your letters. I suspected those were you, even the ones that didn't come through me."
"Well, thanks for publishing the letters I gave to you to the public, my dear."
"Everyone I know is just so impressed at how you tricked the system into thinking you were white, and not the owner of Giving Company. And how you proved the inequalities as soon as they found out who you were. It was genius."
"I'm not a genius. Being in prison for 30 years gives plenty of time to try new things. I got that method from the story in the Bible where Nathan tells King David a story of injustice, and when David condemns that perpetrator, Nathan reveals to David that David was the perpetrator."
"Well, it sure doesn't hurt that your record is completely spotless."
"They can dislike that Giving Company has undercut every corporate law firm with fair prices and the healthcare industries with open-source technologies. But I think that choosing two of our pillars to be transparent business practices, and hiring and caring for employees who truly want to help the needy, meant the other powers couldn't find anything against us.
"I think you've set a new precedent in Law and Healthcare whether you meant to or not."
"We just wanted to give real, fair justice and health to the needy. The old system just wanted more money. They hated that we broke their system."
His daughter continued, "And I think you've broken the injustices in the court systems. They found a way to convict you with their expensive lawyers and laws manipulated by powerful companies, but the investigations have brought to light that you are more blameless than anyone else out there. You've shown the justice and health systems are terribly swayed by money."
They sat quietly for a moment. Then his daughter asked him, "Some people are suggesting you run for president."
"Oh, no. I've made too many important people my enemies."
"Well, I'm not sure." She adjusted and contemplated for a moment. "You probably won't like hearing this, but one of the top opposing lawyers, Mark Laweson, contacted me trying to get juice on you."
"Oh, did he? Is he as manipulative and merciless one-on-one as he is court?"
"He was. By the end of the conversation, he had gotten me to tell him more than I had promised myself I would."
General Ward raised an eyebrow.
She continued, "But here's the thing. At the end of the conversation we both realized I didn't even know anything that could incriminate you. I knew all about you, but you were completely blameless."
"Oh, I don't know about..."
"Well, everything you did was steps more blameless than every accepted practice in the industry. But here's the thing, daddy. He reached out to me yesterday when there was news that you had decided to walk out of prison..."
They both smirked that he had done just that.
"He told me daddy, that if you ever had a position for someone like him, he desired to work for Giving Company."
The both marveled at the change in heart.
General Ward looked down at the coffee in his lap.
His daughter finally said, "Daddy, I think you have robbed the grave they made for you. You broke their system by living by the rules of a higher system."
A song by Elevation Worship says, "God robbed the Grave." I read a blog that said that statement was theologically misleading because God wouldn't do something wrong like steal. But I think rule God broke showed that his system was deeper, more powerful system. In God's system the grave thought that it was owed every human life because every human life had been given to it up to that point. And we had begun to agree with the grave because that system was all we had ever seen. It felt like stealing, by the laws of the old system. But God taking his son back from the grave showed us the grave never really owned God in the first place. God owns the grave. He created the bodies that he allowed the grave to take for a while.
How would this realization that we need not be motivated by fear of death, effect one decision on our plate today?