The Hand of God gently releases the human soul into the custody of a mother and father, and at that moment bestows three gifts:

   The gift of Life, to experience the wonder of creation.
   The gift of Love, to recognize the infinite oneness of all things.
   The gift of Destiny, to return to those hands.

Destiny instills a burning desire to ask a question, seek an answer, remember that which has been forgotten.

Love instills a feeling that can only be known, a knowing in the heart, a joy of purity, a knowing of the womb, the warmth of life.

Life is the wondrous gift of everything, a vast expression of love so immense that the human spirit, mind and body cannot comprehend more than what is within reach, within eyesight. A mysterious experience where no two beings see the same things, and no two things are identical. And because of this we begin our life groping in the dark, and the gentle hands have left us alone to understand our being, to find our own path.

So here we are, unable to remember even the waters we were placed in by those hands. As the fisherman sails toward the horizon, memory of the shore slowly fades, until only the horizon remains. So it is with us.

The fisherman soon learns the relationship between the ocean, the fish, the sun, the moon, those things that make up life. He contemplates how simple life is, and how complex it can become. He ponders the meaning of storms, the damage to the boat, and wonders why it must be so.

Nevertheless, the fisherman masters the art of fishing. He learns to read the clouds, the sunrise, the sunset, the moon and the stars, while at the same time he knows nothing about the workings of those things.

Eventually the fisherman sees land on the horizon. He somehow knows what it is, but does not remember why or how. A decision must be made: turn back to the comfort of the ocean, or continue to the mystery of the unknown. Free to choose, not knowing the outcome, he continues on his course.

When the fisherman reaches shore a mass of people are waiting for him. He had never seen such a thing, and the people had never ventured onto the ocean. But one thing was certain, they were the same, yet different. There was a goodness to the people, and a goodness to the fisherman.

It didn't take long for the people to discover the bounty of the ocean. It was no longer a mystery thanks to the fisherman, for he told them everything he knew about his life on the ocean. And the fisherman, oh the wonders of land. How could he have lived so long, and known so little.

Had everything always been like this, he pondered. Had he seen land before and not known what it was? He began a new, wonderful journey. His heart flowing with love, a joy he had not known. Soon he was far from the ocean, and people began doubting his word, his stories are lies, they said. The fisherman did not understand. How could this be?

And then he was filled with horror. He did not know what this feeling was, only that the putridness he felt in his stomach filled his being, that people killing people was unthinkable. How could this be, he thought. It must be stopped, but no one would listen, few seemed to care. His heart was empty. He cried.

The fisherman set a different course, the horror slowly faded away, yet his heart remained empty. After a while he came upon a place where people were different. Their clothes could hardly be called clothes, coverings made from grass and leaves from the forest. The buildings in the village were made from twigs, and clay from the earth. The people were happy. The fisherman was confused. What is this place, who are these people, he pondered.

They gathered round and felt the goodness of the fisherman. They looked at him, he at they, and began laughing. What is this, the fisherman mused. It wasn't long before everyone was smiling, the bewildered fisherman unable to control a bellow erupting from his stomach. A wonderful combination of sound and shaking, growing into yet another joyful emotion, and tears. Somehow, from a memory never known, he knew laughing.

Within minutes they all were laughing and crying at the same time, everyone was happy. No reason. The spontaneous joy of encountering someone new and different, the knowing of goodness, a common love fueled the laughter. Just when the fisherman was about to collapse, a smiling face came forward, beckoned to him, and led him to a sitting stone near a well.

A villager filled a bucket with cool well water, and bowls were passed around until everyone had sipped their fill and washed away the tears. Soon there was a quiet, a smiling, and a drinking of the goodness they had shared. The fisherman began telling of the ocean, his life, his travels. He barely noticed the food passed around as day turned into night. The children were ushered away into the houses and the village grew quiet. No one spoke, and the fisherman watched the villagers clean up the fire pit and the makings of the evening meal.

He felt a calm inside his heart, a quiet in his mind, something he had forgotten from nights on the ocean, the feeling of peace. This is how it should be, how it is. After a while the villagers gathered around the fisherman and sat down. The only sound he could hear was the crackling of the fire and the silence of the forest.

Suddenly an old man walked into the circle and knelt in front of the fire. He gently covered it with dirt, silencing the flames. And the silence was filled with new sounds. The sounds of the forest, of animals sleeping, of animals waking, of a distant breeze so faint as to be a wisp of ocean deep inside the mind of the fisherman. Everyone sat and listened to the sounds of the night.

After a while the old man picked up an old wooden flute and began to play. Soft deep tones filled the night with a warmth that could only be heard, a feeling of peace. The fisherman looked up at the moon and remembered nights on the ocean. It was the same moon, the same stars, the same clouds, the same breeze, the same peace, and the forest was like the ocean. He remembered this feeling. Contentment. He had no desires, his thoughts silenced by the music. The horrors he had seen were forgotten.

The fisherman spent his life traveling, grew old, and found his way back to the place where he first left the ocean. He built a small home and lived out his remaining years telling the stories of his travels. As he told his stories, over and over, he realized that each time he told them they were different, as he remembered different things each day. He realized that all the stories he had heard were but a small part of history, that no one knew where we came from, nor where we are headed.

He had learned in his life that there was one thing that all people seemed to understand, all people are different, all people are the same. That there is a oneness to this place called earth, that it was created by something called God. The word was different in every language, yet the concept was universal. There was no other way to explain the countless variety of living things, the universal feeling of love that all people expressed.

So here we are, unable to remember the waters we came from, the hands that placed us here. We are born, our destiny is cast. Along the way we chose our path, our direction, our own ways of understanding that which can not be understood. Every human being sees the horrors that mankind commits upon mankind. Incomprehensible. We look for the hand of God to stop the horror, it never appears. Yet, we look at the wonders of creation, the simplicity of a flower, the complexity of a flower, and the hand of God is reflected everywhere.

The hand of God. Everywhere and nowhere. In many respects we are the hands of God, expressed through life and our destiny. The teachings and history of the world have been written down. Written on stone, cave walls, ancient structures, on parchment and any material that could be used. Every writing is different, every writing is the same. The truth is written between the lines, and known only in our hearts. A feeling that cannot be expressed, a knowing that is different for each of us that seeks an answer.

So here we are, unable to explain what we know, unable to express what we feel, unable to grasp that which has been forgotten. Yet there is a knowing. Of life, of love, of destiny, that cannot be expressed, and cannot be ignored.

Therein lies the truth, the untold story, the proof, that the hand of God is within us, waiting for our return.

Copyright (c) 2000 Jeffrey C. Johnson All Rights Reserved Worldwide