THE MAN WHO WOULD
NOT SPEAK TO GOD
Was Lost and Then Found
by Laurence Dayton
Once upon a time there was a man who would not speak to God. He had not spoken to God for many years. His mouth was shut. His lips were sealed. He was angry inside. He would not talk to God on his long walks in the woods. He would not talk to God at mealtimes. He would not talk to God when he was afraid or confused or angry or sad. He simply refused to talk to God.
Long ago this man had been deeply hurt. His daughter had fallen to her death. He was notified by the police of her accident, and he could not forget that day. He was polishing a piece of furniture, getting it ready for sale. The police had entered the factory where he worked and spoke first to his boss...somehow he knew that the police had come with a message for him. As he continued to polish the chair, they came up to him with the bad news. Slowly they told him that his daughter had fallen from a balcony and died. He remembered dropping his cloth. He remembered grabbing his face. He remembered crying for a long time. After that he remembered nothing but the years slipping by.
His friends would come to his house, but he would not speak with them. He would simply remain cold and silent. After a while his friends would go away. "I wonder if he will ever speak with us again?" they would ask.
The man continued to work at the factory polishing furniture. He always came early and worked very late, but he never spoke to anyone. He ate all his meals alone in his big, dark house. Once in a while he would think about this little girl and remembered how they used to play and laugh together; then he would start to cry. Tears would roll down his face and fall in his lap. he would sit for a long time, crying, and then he would go to sleep.
Many years before the man's wife had died of an illness, and he had been very sad. But he still had his son and daughter. Then his son was killed in a war. The man became even more said...but he still had his daughter. She had grown up enough to help him, and he began to be more cheerful. But then she died, and his broken heart never seemed to heal.
As years passed, the man's hair grew greyer and his skin more wrinkled. It became harder and harder for him to polish the furniture. His friends had given up trying to speak with him long ago. He continued to work long hours, never speaking to anyone -- and never speaking to God. As a matter of fact, he had not spoken to God for many, many years.
One night the man came home after a difficult day. He was so tired that he could not even think of his daughter. He just ate a light meal, went to bed, and fell into a deep, peaceful sleep. Then he began to dream. He dreamed he was in a garden of beautiful flowers. The flowers were all growing and moving and throbbing with life. It seemed he had arrived in the garden at night because both it and the sky were dark blue, yet he could tell what the colours of the flowers were. As he stood in the midst of the beautiful flowers, he looked up and noticed that the stars were glowing emerald green. He could see them more clearly than he ever had before.
Then all the colours in the garden started to change. All the flowers were getting brighter. And the sky was turning orange gold as if dawn were coming. As he stood enchanted with his surroundings he could see flowers and a animals and trees and streams of water...and even houses in the distance. And then, the garden grew brighter until it glowed with light. He could see flowers of every colour and size. He could see many animals...and many houses...and something he had not seen before -- people. He could see them all quite clearly, working and playing, laughing and crying, being born and dying. In this beautiful garden, he suddenly felt wonderful and warm inside, and he knew he never wanted to leave. Then, with a rushing thrill, he realized that he was standing in the Garden of the Lord...and he started to cry.
When the man awoke, tears were rolling from his eyes. He sobbed for a long time. After a while he stopped crying and thought of his friends -- for the first time in years. He wanted to rush out and embrace them and talk with them. He thought of his own neglected garden and fields -- all filled with weeds -- and wanted to plant flowers and grain and make them productive again. He remembered with regret all the hungry animals he had sent away from his door without a morsel to eat, and he wanted to feed them. Then he thought again of the garden in his dream and started to weep. He knew that God had sent that dream because He loved him. He knew that God had always loved him. He knew that God would always love him.
How could he ever repay the Lord for the beautiful gift of His love and the dream? Suddenly he knew the answer. And for the first time in many years, in the clear blue morning light the man knelt by the side of his bed and -- through his tears -- spoke again with God.
This page was created on 31 May 1998
Last updated on 31 May 1998
Reproduced with Thanks