The Statue

By Doug Muder

One day (a long time ago) three young men were traveling. That evening, since they were lost and knew of no town or house in the area, they slept on the open ground by a large rock.

As they slept, all three of them had the same dream. They dreamed that a great wooden statue stood on the rock, and the voice of God came out of the statue and spoke to them from nightfall until morning.

When they awoke and talked to each other and realized what had happened, they each went in separate directions, to be alone and to meditate on this strange and wonderful event.

The first man meditated until he could remember exactly how the statue had looked. And he searched the surrounding forests until he found wood of precisely the right color and texture. He taught himself to carve, and with painstaking care he worked until he had carved the statue exactly as he had seen it in his dream. He took the statue to the rock and set it up. Then he built a temple around the statue. And he stayed and served God in that temple for the rest of his days.

I was still a young man when I came to that temple and met him there. He showed me the statue (it is quite beautiful), and told me the story. And that evening he showed me the place where he had slept that night so long ago. I laid out my bedroll there, and I slept from night until morning.

In the morning I met the second man. And he told me that on that other morning so long ago he had meditated until he could remember everything that the statue had told them. Then he went to the nearest town and bought a great leather scroll, and wrote down every word exactly as he had heard it in his dream. Since that day the scroll had never left his side, and he read it to whomever would listen. That evening at sundown he sat on the steps of the temple and read to me from the scroll. All night he read, and when he finished the glow of morning was starting to appear in the east.

I asked both of these men what had happened to their companion, the third man, and they replied that they did not know. He had left sometime during that first day after their dream, and he had never returned to see the statue or the temple or to read the scroll. They did not know whether he was alive or dead, and could not even say in what direction he had left.

At that time I was a young man myself, and a wanderer, and a lover of a good mystery. So with little more than a name to go by, I set off to find this third man so that I might hear the tale from him and compare it to what I had heard from the other two. Intrigued by my mission and loving the road as I did, I searched for a goodly long time, and had many adventures (of which you shall hear at length if you would humor a prattling old man).

But eventually I did find him. And when I told him of the statue and the temple and the scroll he listened with amazement, for he had all this time been traveling from one place to another and had heard nothing of these events. So I asked him about that night, and about the dream and the voice, and what he did when he awoke the next morning.

And he said, “I sat in that place and I meditated on my dream until I was certain that I knew what the voice of God sounded like. Then I listened to the wind, and I heard it say ‘Come.’ And I have been traveling ever since, listening for the voice, and –“

Then he stopped suddenly and raised a hand to silence me. And we stood there silently, he and I, for several minutes before he lowered his hand and spoke again. “There!” he said, looking at me intently. “Did you hear it?”