Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Persuasion (not about the book) (09/01/11)
TITLE: Nature's Gentle Sway
By Helen Curtis
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He had decided that there was no God.
He desperately wanted to believe there was, but how could there be?
Hate, betrayal, deceit, pain.
These were the reality of his life,
Every stinking day of his meaningless existence.
"Then how do you explain me?" The man looked up and saw he was being spoken to by a tree.
"Well, you say there is no God; then how do you explain me?
"Here, take one of my leaves; hold it up to the light and take a good, long look at it. Notice the depth of the chlorophyll shades of green, the transluscence of its delicate patterns.
"Now reach up and take some of my fruit. That apple started as a flower, beautiful and fragrant and full of nectar for the bees; and in attracting them, the flower was pollinated, and the fruit grew and ripened. Go on, take a big bite! Ahh, sweet isn't it!
"Now look at my branches. Oh yes, I am proud of these! Strong and sinewy, aren't they?!
"Now walk over to your left, that's it. You are standing next to the most amazing maple tree in this forest - ahh, yes, you know where I'm going with this one don't you! The sap that comes from that tree is ... well, go on, have a taste and tell me what you think? Yeah, the smile says it all!
"My dear friend, having looked at my being, can you really still doubt the existence of God? Now, I am but a mere tree; I have no intelligence of my own, and I'm certainly not powerful enough to have caused myself to exist - no, I am here because someone planned for me to be here.
"And even I, a simple ol' apple tree can see that my existence is for greater reasons than my own sake.
"Think back to the leaf I gave you. Why, it's an engineering marvel! Every single cell in that leaf is made to do a specific task, namely to take Carbon Dioxide out of the air and return to it Oxygen. Pure, life-giving oxygen!
"Think back to the fruit, so juicy and sweet to the taste. Is it for me that I produce this luscious fruit?
"It's for YOU!
"And my branches! They are so incredibly versatile; why, they can make a fire for cooking and heating, or they can be stripped back to use for building homes. They can be turned into exquisite furniture or toys that strike delight in the hearts of children, or fashioned into boats or fences. Why, even the first ever aeroplane was made from wood of the Giant Spruce!
"So many uses.
"All for you.
"And as for the maple syrup... well, this is just one of those 'added bonuses' of life! I mean, could you imagine eating your Saturday morning pancakes without that beautiful, golden river of maple syrup oozing over the top?!
No, I didn't think so!
"Even this bit of frivolous pleasure has been made just for you!
"And all of this can only bring me to one conclusion: if 'someone' has gone to all this trouble to create me, a tree, to meet so many of your needs, your value to him must be immeasurable."
The man turned back to face his gentle persuader, only to discover he was back home and in his bed.
It had been a dream.
No, more than a dream; the tears on his face were sign enough of that.
As his eyes adjusted to the dim moonlight streaming through his window, his eyes fell upon something on his pillow.
A fresh, green leaf.
Smiling for the first time in a long, soul-draining time, he dropped from his bed to the floor, where he earnestly called on the God that he now wholeheartedly believed in.
Thanks to the Holy Spirit of God, who never stopped loving him, and nature's gentle sway.
But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. Romans 1:20 The Message
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