FEB 14, 2002
THE SEVENTH SIGN
Those of you, dear followers of Cathedral Tales will recall that only a few days ago, God inspired the purchase of a beautiful remnant of Creation directly across from THE HOLY TRINITY WILDERNESS CATHEDRAL on the shores of Zwicky Creek.
As I was still deeply in debt due to the purchase of the Cathedral itself, it would have been impossible for me to borrow more. My dear 86 year-old mother and my crusty nearly 91 year-old father, after having seen the property, volunteered to cash in the last of their life savings in order to leave a permanent legacy for future generations of all of Gods children, both human and animal.
An agreement was reached with the owners of the property and closing was to take place at 10 a.m. on February 12, 2002. Bonds and c.d.s were cashed in, bank accounts were drained, and a stressful scramble ensued to raise the funds for the purchase.
I asked God for a sign that my parents were indeed doing His will by making this purchase since it had caused me a great deal of anxiety realizing that they were placing themselves at His mercy and sacrificing the pleasures in life which their savings could have purchased.
At around 9:30 a.m. I rushed down to the bank to insure that all of the deposits had been credited to the account from which the money was to be drawn and it was all there or so I thought.
THE FIRST SIGN----------CONTRAIL AND RAINBOW
I had only been in the bank a minute or two and when I went outside there was a fluffy fleece-like contrail arch that passed from the western horizon, directly over my head, and on to the eastern horizon and to the right of this perfect arch in the east was an ephemeral perfectly round rainbow. In my 56 years on Planet Eden I had never before seen anything to match this sight.
THE SECOND SIGN----------THE CHECK ON THE BULLETIN BOARD
I drove to my parents house to pick them up and take them to Walker County Title for the closing. As the title company had not had time to prepare a closing statement I had not actually known the exact amount which would be due. Much to my shock I discovered while the documents were being signed that we were $5,000 short! As the seller wanted a cashiers check for the purchase price that morning, the owner of the Title Company was to take our checks directly to our bank and exchange them for the cashiers check.
I told him we would meet him at the bank in ten minutes with the additional $5,000. By this time I was "sweatin' bullets", "wiggin" and "stressen hard" as they say in this part of East Texas. We immediately drove to my office, rushed upstairs to write a "hot check" which I felt the bank would cover for a day or two and there right before my eyes, tacked to the bulletin board, was a check for over $5,000 which I had forgotten to deposit! We rushed to the bank with the money just in the nick of time.
THE THIRD SIGN----------THE MESSAGES
After closing I took my parents home and returned to my office. I checked my e-mail and discovered that I had received two messages which I would place under the category of "strange convergences". The first message was from Ethician Deacon Jay Lerner, who was bringing a group of children to Waterwood this coming Friday and wanted to know if he could take them on some walks along the trails at the Wilderness Cathedral.
Deacon Lerner, works for Charles Hurwitz, who owns both Pacific Lumber and Kaiser Aluminum. I had been hoping that Deacon Lerner would bring Mr. Hurwitz along, because I felt like if he and I were able to spend some time together alone in the Wilderness Cathedral, which incidently I had purchased from him, that God would speak to him and he would devote the rest of his life to helping protect our ancient forests rather than destroying them.
Lerner wrote that Brother Hurwitz would not be coming because Kaiser Aluminum had filed for bankruptcy that morning which turned out to be at almost the very moment that I had seen the rainbow and contrail in the sky!!! Mr. Hurwitz had sold the 271 acre tract to a man who was making arrangements to have it clearcut. Had we not acted immediately, the ancient trees would soon have been history. If only Mr. Hurwitz had accepted my invitation a year ago, perhaps his life would be less stressful and he would be reaping spiritual awards and blessings rather than the stress of the bankruptcy of one of his companies. God only knows.
The other message was good news from Fred Kreuger, founder of and the driving force behind The Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation. Both Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Bartholomew II were working with us in helping us honor God by caring for Creation. In addition, I learned that Prince Phillip of The World Wildlife Fund is also becoming involved in a positive way.
THE FOURTH SIGN----------THE SUNRAYS
The sky had become overcast. The temperature had fallen and the outlook for a break in the clouds appeared non-existent. My parents, who had been excited about taking a boat ride to tour the new lands that they were preserving, decided to stay at home and wait for better weather. My mother, who was still a little nervous about making such a hasty and serious decision to purchase the land asked me to go there alone and ask God for reassurance as her daughters (my sisters) had already been extremely critical of our efforts to preserve a few remnants of Eden. Their interests appeared to be focused on the cold, hard cash they felt they should inherit, rather than my parents priceless spiritual investments in the eternal value of Creation.
The sky remained dreary and there was much fresh carnage along the highway. Two dead dogs, a freshly killed cat, a possum, and a raccoon were laying dead, either in the center of the highway or along the side. So far the signs were not good. Just as I turned off the highway onto Waterwood Parkway, the clouds parted in patches and brilliant rays of sunlight shot forth. The brilliance lasted but a couple of minutes, but the event occurred where many other strange and beautiful displays have occurred before. I certainly took this fantastically beautiful light show to be a positive sign.
THE FIFTH SIGN----------SEVEN HERONS and ONE ALLIGATOR
When I arrived at the boathouse, gray clouds had once again blotted out the sun. The lake is normally rough and even white-capping when the skies are this brooding yet the surface of the water was as smooth as brown velvet without even a ripple. When I arrived at the mouth of Zwickey Creek I looked up into a dead pine and there were seven Great blue herons resting on the remnants of last years nests.
While I contemplated the meaning of the seven herons I continued onward to an inlet that juts into the new refuge. I could hardly believe my eyes. Stretched out on a log was a young alligator, no more than four feet in length. She looked up at me and stared while I fumbled for my camera. By the time I had retrieved my camera the gator had slid into the water and I expected her to disappear. Instead she popped her little head up and posed for pictures. Keep in mind, I had never before seen an alligator on a log under overcast skies during the first half of February.
On the way back past the seven resting herons it dawned on me that the first six represented the traditional six days of Creation in Genesis and the seventh represented the Sabbath, or day of rest.
THE SIXTH SIGN----------THE BLOOD RED SUNSET
I had one more shot left on my roll of film and didnt know whether to save it or take another photo of the herons. The overcast skies to the west had opened slightly and fearing that they would close again I decided to use the last shot on the herons.
Less than a minute later the skies once again opened up and the lake was bathed in a brilliant blood-red light of astonishing intensity. No more film!!! I was angry with myself for not having brought along a second roll. This sort of thing has happened to me several times in the past. Events occur of such outstanding beauty that I want to share them with the entire world, yet here I was, on this huge 90,000 acre lake with not another human in site. Just me and God alone together, sharing a sunset of miraculous beauty.
I said, God, I am not selfish, and if more people were touched by your artistry, perhaps they would do more to help me protect your gift of Creation from harm. And furthermore, God, why do you always seem to show me the most amazing of your great works just as I have used up all of my film or have left my camera at home? No answer, only an even more intensity of color as if the sky were dripping Christs blood upon the waters which became the same crimson hue.
When I arrived at a place opposite the Wilderness Cathedral, where it is possible to catch the last glow of sunset, I stopped the boat and just stared in amazement as the sky and its reflection upon the waters faded and darkness began to envelope the earth.
THE SEVENTH SIGN----------THE BRILLIANT MIRROR
I started the engine and raced back toward the boat house. As I had failed to turn on the boat house lights before leaving I didnt want to arrive after it had become too dark to see my way into the slip. About three hundred yards offshore as I was turning into our inlet, the waters of the lake which had turned dark with the almost complete disappearance of the last glow of the sunset, were suddenly bathed in an almost brilliant light as if the waters in front of the boat had become a mirror!!! I cannot even imagine the source of this phenomenal afterglow and one would have to see it to believe it; but however God did it, I suspect He will retain the formulae as one of the great mysteries which mortal humans shall never fully comprehend.
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