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I am right here
by Ma. Hannah Sanchez
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There was once a beautiful golden tree that stood in the middle of a vast forest. The tree was very wide and it bears hundredths of thousandths of green leaves. Its fruits are very delicious and its flowers are of different color. Birds of all kinds build their nest on it branches. Strong animals rest at the foot of the tree, making good use of its shade.

One day the cold breeze from the north pass by the forest. The breeze brought great news of joy. “The King is coming”. He says. Prepare yourself for the King, with all his Glory and Splendor will come. He will surely grant favor and blessing to all those who are prepared. Everyone in the forest became excited. They wandered what the king looks like. They do know that he is a very kind and merciful king. Everyone went on his way to prepare a gift for the king. The golden tree herself grew more green leaves, beautiful flowers and delicious fruits. All she wanted to do was to please the king, though she wandered what else can the king give to her. Since she has everything a tree desires to have.

On the night before the king arrives, a powerful storm struck the forest. The storm was strongest at the middle of the forest where the golden tree was located. The strong winds tore away all her leaves, flowers and fruits. The lightning struck down her branches and the rain cause mud to splatter on her vine.

The golden tree could not believe what is happening. Within one night she is stripped of everything that she has treasured. The best ting that she could hope for after this ordeal is her life. As the storm roars all around her, she cried out to he king. “Oh God, please give me another day to live.” She cried out. The dark clouds grow darker and the winds only became more stronger. Everything around her is being stripped from the land. She could do nothing but to be still.

The storm pass finally stop. The sun pierce through the clouds. The tree was not sure how long she fell asleep but as she wake up she a hooded man standing right in front of her. She look at her sides and realize that the forest seems to strangely look so much better. The trees around her seems to be refresh. She look at herself and to her dismay, she look so dirty. She no longer has her leaves, flowers, fruits and branches. She is so dirty. As she contemplated on what happened the hooded man finally spoke.

“Good morning.” he said.

“What happened?” The confused tree asked.

“The storm has passed. Now another day has begun.” He answered.

“Who are you? And why do the other trees seems to be unaffected from the storm? The storm last night was so strong. It seems kind of impossible that I'm the only who seems to received much damage.” She asked.

“I am the King.”He answered. The tree was stunned by what he said. He continue nonetheless.
“Yes, the other trees were also greatly affected from the storm. Many of them were crush. Some of them were even completely uprooted by the storm. Nonetheless, they seek my help and I healed them. I can also heal you but first you must tell me what you have learned.” He answered her.

“What I have learned?”

“Yes. You see nothing in this world will not happen apart from my will. Indeed I allowed that storm to come here because I have a purpose. Some problems come as a punishment but all forms of problems come for a higher purpose. Now I want you to consider everything that has happened.” He waited for her answer. The tree look at the king. She remembered how beautiful she was before he came. She also remembered what exactly happened during the storm and how she lived through it. Surely she live not because of what she did.

“I think I was very proud. Before you came here, I wanted to impress you. I was also relying on my own strength. My own self-sufficiency has led me to believe that I no longer need your blessing. But during the storm I saw exactly as who I really am. I am helpless. I couldn't even run away from the storm. It destroyed everything that I was so proud of. I nearly died. Through that night, I cried out to you. I was begging you to use your power to stop it. But it just became stronger. I don't understand it but in the end all I could do is stay still and wait. Whether I will leave or die, I no longer have control. I needed you but where were you?” She look at him. Her heart was breaking. Se felt that everything she believes about him is fake.

“I was right here.” His answered struck her.
“Have you forgotten what I did before? If not even the death of the cross kept me from accomplishing what must be done to those that I choose to love, how much more will I not deny my presence in times when they needed it most. I am right here with you through the storm.” He continued.

“I need you. I thought I could do it on my own. When everything was going well, I forgot that everything I have belong to you. I especially forgot that you are already here even before the breeze told us you were coming. My Lord I lost everything you have given to me. But whether you will give it or not. I know that all that you do is for my own good. I offer you this life, the last thing you chose not to take away. Your will be done.”

The King remove his hood. His splendor shine through out the forest. Indeed He is so much more than what she thought He is. In an instant, everything that she lost was restored to her. In fact, her branches, leaves, flowers and fruits were much better than before. Her roots are also much more rooted to the ground. He then said to her:

“Share my love. Know for sure I will always be with you.”

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