Copyright © 2012 by Richard S. Platz
All rights reserved

Twenty years ago, on my fiftieth birthday, I backpacked alone to Papoose Lake high in the Trinity Alps Wilderness. Climbing to a gap in the head wall overlooking the lake, I sat on a smooth white boulder and surveyed the dazzling glacier-polished granite slab stretching far and away into the distance. The sun was hot. A breeze tousled my hair. I was almost dozing, when God appeared.

"Before now," He said, "I have never appeared unto any man."

"Whoa," I said, flattered and dumbfounded.

"And I've never told anyone what to do."

"Never?" I said. "Hold on . . . what about Moses . . . the ten commandments?"

"Not My message," God replied.

"What about Jesus . . . and Mohammed . . . and Joseph Smith . . . and all the others who've written down Your messages?"

"Not Mine."

"Messages from your messengers?"


"Your angels, then, acting on their own?"

"No. It doesn't work that way."

"Huh." I scratched my head. "Then where did those messages come from? Satan? Were they delusions? Or manipulative tools of control freaks?"

"Never mind that," God said dismissively. "That's not what I want to talk about."

"Okay. What then?"

"Can you do something for Me?"

"Er . . . I don't know," I said cautiously. "What did You have in mind?"

"I'd like you to carry a message back to all mankind. Spread the word."

"Well, that's not really my thing. I've got kind of a busy schedule . . ."

"No rush. Fit it in when you have the time."

I pondered uncomfortably for a moment. "Are you sure You've got the right messenger here?"

"Don't worry about that."

"Uh . . . so what's the message?"

"Just this: Until now, I have never appeared unto any man, and I have never told anyone what to do."

"Ah . . . like you were saying."


"Seems simple enough."

"Can you repeat it back?"

"Don't know why not," I said. "‘Until now . . . You have never appeared unto any man . . . and . . . er . . . You've never told anybody what to do . . .'"

"Close enough. You'll do it, then?"

"What's the . . . ah . . . time frame on this?" I asked, postponing commitment.

"Your choice. Okay? No time limit."

"Well . . . just how am I supposed to spread this message?"

"Again, your choice. You'll do it?"

I sighed. "I guess so. No one's going to believe me, though. I suppose You know that."

"I know everything."

"Why bother then?"

"That's not what I came to reveal to you." He began to fade. "Do it on faith."

"Wait a second," I said, standing, dizzy in the blinding sunlight. "Is that it?"

"That's it." His empty voice whisked across the sepulchral white stone. I could see the ragged spires of Sawtooth Peak manifesting through His dissolving form.

I shouted, "Will I be seeing You again?"

With the timbre of wind rustling through tall grass, I believe I heard Him say, "No one will be seeing Me again." And He was gone.

So that's it. That's my message. Or rather God's message. Take it or leave it. I've done my job.