From the outset, we find the young newspaper reporter (Jim Bronson) facing up to some of the rather harsher realities of life. Most young people have a strong sense of invincibility that generally dissipates with the troubles that life so often tosses our way. Here�s where we meet Jim Bronson. He is staring the potential death of his closest friend smack dab in the face. To make matters worse, Bronson is given the opportunity to save his friend�s life, first, by talking him out of what is shaping up to be a suicide attempt, and second, by physically restraining Nick from the long fall that will soon kill him. Poor Jim fails on both accounts.
Back at the �Paper,� Jim has already been having trouble with an ungrateful boss whom he now finds totally unsympathetic to the bad news about his friend�s death. The angry words are obviously the �straw-that-broke-the-camels-back.� Jim Bronson needs time. He needs time to grieve. He needs time to collect himself. He needs time to do some serious soul-searching. He leaves his job, his home, his acquaintances... he isn�t running, he is searching. As we watch him leaving town, before he escapes the suburbs of San Francisco, we hear him (and Temple) singing the traditional folk song, �Poor Wayfaring Stranger.�
The meaning of the Lyric is unmistakable:
♫ �I�m just a poor wayfaring stranger, ah-wandering through, this world of woe.
Yet there�s no sickness, toil nor danger; In that good land, to which go. ♫ ♫ I�m going there, to meet my Savior; I�m going there, no more to roam; I�m only going over Jordan. I�m only going, over home.� ♫ �
For the ancient Israelites crossing the Jordan River meant coming into the promised land. For the singer of this great old song, it meant crossing from the woes of this often difficult life into the joys of the kingdom of heaven.
Jim, and Temple as it turns out, find themselves on a search for the Savior who they hope will get them there. Do they both make it? That�s our great desire for them, isn�t it? It should be our greatest desire for each other shouldn�t it? Well, let�s continue to examine their journey and see what we may discover.
Until next time, hang in there.