A Solitary Clue

Greedy to see the face of God!

Ready to test the Divine assumptions!

Eager to tempt The Powers That Be

ineffable, insensible, and subtle as a tree,

I dared to go alone – into the night – unbound.

To the river of security, my comfort – safe and sound.


I dared to go alone in the hope of revelation.

A sign, literally! Just for me and my soul’s elation.

Not another book to read; no translation did I need.

Experience – I needed – first hand!


The sun went down.

Soon, stars were falling.

Hallowed names, I started calling,

 just to see if God knew where I stood.


Because I dared to go alone;

because I sought, what I was shown

destroyed my doubt with such aplomb!

The night I knocked,

God dropped the bomb,

 as the doors of Heaven opened.


“For goodness’ sake!” I dearly cried.

Silenced, awed, and stupefied,

I couldn’t fail to recognize,

my God had nearly petrified

the life out of me!

I sat, breathless as a stone.


An eternity must have rolled on by.

The river flowed, I knew not why.

But then a fish jumped at my feet!

Startled, I flinched back off my seat.


On cue, this clue answered my “Who?”

Delighted, I let out a chuckle or two.

I understood! I knew how true –

and how it was that we both knew

 the calling card of Christ.


© Uncle Tree

Missouri River near Indian Cave State Park

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the thong of whose shoes I am not worthy to untie: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire: Luke 3:16

Tell an unbeliever that they need to seek God, and if they decide to do so, they will be expecting something to happen; they will expect to see a sign from God of some sort. What then are the chances that they will find Something and/or Someone in the material world that will astonish and stupefy them so greatly that they have to say, “There is a God!” ? For some, reading words in The Bible will never amount to an experience that can be had, seen, heard, and felt firsthand.


I would say that I was one of the lucky ones who sought, but I’d rather believe it was grace, and not luck, that granted me a finding on August 11, 2001, 11:30 p.m., CST. Granted, my camping trip coincided with the annual Perseid’s Meteor Shower. Synchronous too, it is true, as it so happens, I’d been studying a book by Alan Watts, “Myth & Ritual In Christianity” (1953). Talk about Symbolism! I was primed and ready! It was a fantastic show – 60 miles from any major city lights. Not just quick, short streaks did I see shooting across the starlit sky, for some of the meteorites flew for 5 to 6 seconds before petering out into darkness. Then God dropped this fiery bomb, and it landed just on the other side of the river. I wish I could have swam for it. The devil tempted me, yes, but most likely, I’d have drowned. I wouldn’t dare. Particularly odd, was the fact that it made no noise, no BOOM! when it landed. The river splits into two channels at my whereabouts, and there’s a long skinny island in the middle, which I took to be the other side of the river. If it fell in the water beyond me, that might have silenced it a bit, but I heard nothing. A fish jumped out of the water a few seconds later. Did he feel a shock? I don’t know. Ball lightning? Perhaps. It was certainly that hot, with inner blue flames coming through the shortish tail, but there were no clouds in the sky.

“The Earth is vulnerable!” was my first thought. “He-he! You missed me!”, ran a close second. “Okay, Lord. You have my full attention. Now that I know you know where I am, is there any message you need to get across to me? Anything I’m supposed to do? A special task? Hello?” When no answer came through, I thought, “Since I didn’t get any orders, I’m free to go about my business. I should continue my studies, and keep reading, and keep working at Kawasaki.”  This experience transpired exactly one month before 9/11/01. If some sort of round heavy-metal space junk heated to melting point, and falling straight down, or a meteorific fireball striking the Earth was simply a bad omen, I missed the point completely.  When I first heard the terrifically horrible news at work, and then watched it on the screen during break, I cried. I wanted to drop everything and go to New York. Spiritually speaking, I had confidence, strictly because of my not-so incidental acknowledgment by Christ! Unfortunately, spiritual inflation occurred, and my ugly pride manifested itself on my face and forehead in the form of swelling; a knot, or bump, or mumps without the redness caused by skin irritation ( a big head, truly). Very Strange!  In a year or so, I outgrew the condition. It has never recurred.

This spot on the river has since become a special, if not sacred, place for me. I have returned there many times, and last year I drove over to the Missouri side, and scoped the surrounding area. I think I’d buy a few acres in that vicinity, if I had the means. Somewhere, right around Golden Avenue and Apple Street (no kidding), where, currently, the corn grows furiously. I feel as if something needs to be built there; sanctified there. Or perhaps, something is buried there; something holy like The Grail. I’d like to think…