The Proof


Ben H. Swett
Pease AFB, NH
26 October 1965

He came at an time when I did not expect him, and he came because he chose to come, not because I called him.

I was just doing my homework in my little cubby-hole under the stairs in our apartment, studying the economics of under-developed countries and struggling with the impossibility of actually helping all those poor people.

A dog barked in the distance, not a bark of warning or distress, but the joyous yelp of greeting. I thought it strange to hear a dog bark like that. Then another dog barked the same way, and the second dog was closer.

"Something must be coming this way," I thought, "Maybe a flock of ducks ..."

Then suddenly, it seemed as though the whole house fell down--as though the house and yard and everything around it suddenly became a flat map, under my feet. I stood up in utter amazement, looking down at the two-dimensional neighborhood around my feet.

When I looked up, I saw him. He was coming down a gentle slope, headed a bit to my left, amid colorful little clouds that looked like an azalea garden in bloom. He was radiant, self-luminescent, like a glowing plasma in the shape of a man.

As he reached my level and turned toward me, I was suddenly ashamed. I could not look at him--not because his light was so bright, but because I was so terribly ashamed. Some part of me wanted to crawl away and hide.

As he came near, I bowed down to keep from running away. I felt as though his light was going right through me, blowing away pieces of me--I only hoped there would be something left. I wanted to run, but would not, even though it was all I could do to stay where I was.

As I sank to my knees, because I could not stand, he took hold of my upper arms and lifted me and said: Oh, stop slobbering on my feet and stand up. I want to talk to you.

I stood up, but I couldn't look up. He placed his thought in my mind, not so much in words, but like a cubic chunk of thought. If that description can be understood, it is accurate.

His message would translate into words like this: Be faithful in the little things and bigger opportunities will come. He directed my attention to my wife, my boys, my mother, brother and sister, and my wife's family: These and those like them, you belong to. Care for them. Then others will come to be fed.

I felt him smile, and sank to my knees again. There are holes in his feet. I did not see him go. Suddenly I found myself on my knees on the floor, wedged between the chair and the desk, with tears running down my face.