"Will it hurt much?" the little one asked, and his elders looked down and knew.
"So you've heard they took another. And we tried so hard to keep it from you..."
A change of the subject would not be possible this time, nor a diversion. Truth had to be told, as difficult as it was.
"No one knows. One of us is suddenly gone, or many, and we never hear any more from them, never hear of their fate. Maybe the missing ones are just being moved-"
His curiosity knew no bounds: "Moved how? Moved where? For what?"
Sighing, thinking, then silence. They knew only one thing: some of them were used for the Creator's purposes, and that was the central longing within all of them.
"Don't worry so over it--those taken are a great distance from here. Look at your reflection and see that you're shaking like a leaf. Be still and know that He is God. He is in control."
This calmed the core of the youngest among them, and the conversation dwindled down to only the slightest of murmurs.
Over the course of the years, it happened again, and again, moving ever closer to where they stood waiting.
When the little one was no longer small, he discovered the unknown, the previous mystery, when he was taken with the rest of those in his grove.
Some became pulpits, still in a standing position, doing their part in service of the Lord.
Others were fashioned into musical instruments, and found their way into the wonder of music, adding their own silent praise to the audible notes drifting heavenward.
The finest and strongest among them became altars, and knew the miracle of sin rolling away from earnest seekers.
And what of the destiny of the curious one? Just as the machines began their screaming work, God spoke. In a still, small voice, the Father revealed to him what was to come, and his joy was infinite.
He was beaten to a pulp, and still sang.
He was pressed thin, to the breaking point, and his smile never faltered.
He was bleached and treated with many harsh chemicals, and shed tears of happiness all along the way.
He was dried and cut and stacked, and could hardly wait for the next step of the process.
History and poems, prophecy and parables were printed onto his once dense surface, word after word, chapter after chapter, until finally the volume was complete. The pages were bound together with covers and spine, and he made his way into the world, now carrying the Holy Word of God. He added his own prayer to those of many others, breathlessly waiting for the fulfillment of God's whisper.
As promised, he was there when the transformation happened. A person changed from sinner to seeker to saved, all with the great book open.
And he now knew the answer his own question from all those years ago: "Will it hurt much?"
Yes, it might hurt some, or hurt very much, or even take your very life. But being used by God is worth it, little ones, very much worth it. Stand your ground until they come to take you, then wait for God's whispered promise to you, in your darkest moments.
Watch in wonder what He will do, and let all the world see His Word, Jesus Christ, written on every part of your being.
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