Last night in the depths of my slumber, a vision washed my eyes with images of peace, purity and unity—an ocean of Reformation and Revival flooding the wicked state of Colorado.  In that dream an immense wasteland, embraced by the fiercest mountains of blackness, filled my vision.  As a stared at the vast desert, a small sapling drew my attention.  It sat in the middle of my sight: small, withered and frail.  It wavered to and fro from the gales of the desert; it doubled over from the pounding of the sun; it cried out for relief from its thirst.  Although most irrational to my waking mind, I was inundated with vast feelings of sorrow and mourning: would that struggling tree survive the crucible of its existence?

Time moved without remorse.  The sun’s anger was not abated and the winds never rested.  Yet, to my amazed eyes, the tiny tree refused to die. But it did not grow.  I was in grief, wondering aloud, “why?”  “Who will preserve this precious sapling?”

A small, gentle voice emanated from nowhere, yet from everywhere: “I will.”

As an agitated child is comforted by his loving father, so my soul uncoiled from its state of tension and fear.

At that moment, I noticed something in the distance: awkward in movement and unsightly in form, the man scurried toward the plant— with trepidation I cried out, “no!”  But as he shuffled closer to my eyes I noticed that he was caring for the plant.  A shelter was constructed.

But the plant still did not grow.

Time’s relentless pace never abated.   Another man, draped in filth, crawled toward the plant.  This time I was cautiously optimistic.  He pushed passed the other man, saying, “this is how you do it!” Razing the shelter, he poured fertilizer around the sapling.  “Good,” I excitedly thought.

But the plant still did not grow.

I was devastated.

Time did not stand still for my grief.  Another man, unclean and unshaved, scurried toward the plant.  This time I numbly watched his unskilled efforts, expecting little.  He pushed passed the two men, proclaiming, “No, I have the skills to make it grow!” Kicking the fertilizer into the air, he poured water into the parched ground.  “Ah,” I thought, “now it will grow.”

But the plant still did not grow.

Dumbfounded, recoiling from the bullet that was reality, I bemoaned the fate of this precious sapling: “Who will preserve this precious sapling?”

A small, gentle voice emanated from nowhere, yet from everywhere: “I will.”  And I beheld a wonderful sight: the vagabonds eyes swelled with tears and each man helped the other: one built a shelter; another fertilized; and another watered.  Then, I beheld a greater sight, a transformation of miraculous proportions: growing, ever so slightly, the sapling expanded into an oak tree so vast that it shaded the entire wasteland.  Moisture was restored, grass flourished and life returned.  Baptized in joy, I was ecstatic.

Yet, I wondered why each man could not help the sapling.

A small, gentle voice emanated from nowhere, yet from everywhere, enlightened my understanding: “These men were tools in my hand.  And my tools must work in concert.  Even so, without my blessing their labors are in vain.”


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