The Boy, the Tree, and God
Rev. Donald Wehmeyer​

The boy sat next to a tree. He said,

“God, my teacher told me I should talk to you sitting by a tree.

My teacher said, maybe you would talk to me when I sat here.”

The tree swayed in the wind.

The boy felt as if someone had asked, “Can you be patient?”

“Well,” he replied, “I am eleven years old. I guess I can be patient for a while.”

The tree swayed again, and the boy took that as meaning, “Very good. A while is enough.”

But the silence thereafter was excruciating for the boy. He wondered, “How long is a while? I promised to be patient for a while but now I don’t know what to do.”

Moments went by and the boy became cross with the tree and the silence. He crossed his arms tightly, his face was a frown.

Then he heard in his head, “Are you selfish?”

Instantly the boy felt ashamed of his anger, or rather, for getting caught being angry.

He said, “God, I know what you are going to say. Anger comes from not getting what I want. What I want is selfishness. I hear that from my mom and dad all the time.”

The boy imagined a voice saying, “That is a wise lesson to learn.”

He said, “I try not to be angry, I just wanted to talk with you some more and I was alone.”

He heard in his heart, “Look at the tree sway and how strong is the trunk that holds all the branches and leaves, look at the ants crawling on the trunk, and the sun coming through the leaves. When you see these things you shall know I am here and I hear you.”

The boy was quiet for a moment, then a smile emerged on his face. He said, “That means I can talk to you all the time!”

Happy, he went back to his home.