Sunday, April 12, 2009

The tree



I had a dream when I was a little child. I must be 7 or 8 years old then. I dreamed I was in front of God's mansion. It was huge and beautiful. I so wanted to go inside, but the big doors were shut.

I stood outside the door wondering how I could somehow get in. There was a balcony, and I thought if I could just climb it, I might have a chance.

Fortunately, there was a big tree with branches stretching towards the balcony. I could climb this tree! I thought. At that age, I had been climbing trees in real life around our neighbourhood and within the campus we were living in. "Yes, I am going to climb this tree.."

I climbed up the trunk and crawled on one of the sturdy branches as far as I could get. I was determined to inch my way and hop over the ledge. Crawl, crawl, crawl...

I reached the end of the branch. It was close but not close enough for me to cross over into God's balcony.

In my dream, I climbed down the tree utterly distraught. I cried and cried and cried.

That's how my dream ended.

I didn't think much of this dream, but looking back, I believe I carried that strong desire within me to enter God's mansion until many years later. Likewise, I carried the same sense of frustration and helplessness about my inability to find my way in.

That tree that I climbed, it could well represent the many ways I thought about and attempted to get into God's presence and be inside His household.

Being good, doing good, going to church occasionally, saying prayers repeatedly, studying well... Those were the "trees" I thought would somehow make me enter God's mansion.

But nothing crossed me over the empty distance between the tree and God's balcony. Everything felt short.

Years later, in my teen years, after a series of mini-"spiritual awakenings", I experience the big one. Call it an A-ha Moment that would change my destiny forever.

I began to understand that there was no tree that could take me inside God's mansion except the tree on which Christ died. The tree was already there on the front door in the shape of of a cross! No need for me to strive hard and enter through a backdoor or a window or the balcony for that matter. I can enter through the main door!

That's the message of Good Friday.

Happy Easter!

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