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  • Writer's pictureIain Johnston

Vision: The Tree

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

I had a vision.

I stood at the top of a cliff. It was dark. Shadowy. Void of light and life.

The skies above were blackened with a thick floating blanket of dark clouds. No sunlight broke through.

Below me a vast, lifeless valley, as far as the eye could see.

No life. No light. Just shadowy darkness. The floor of the valley was hundreds of feet down… covered in a thick dark mist.

No life was evident on the valley floor. Nothing grew. Nothing thrived.

Just darkness.

A man stood at the top of the cliff.

A man of God. Strong. Brave. Defiant against the darkness before him.

With a voice from the depths of his soul, he began singing, crying out and proclaiming words of life and truth. A constant flow.

His words formed a current of electrified air... that ascended out over the valley and up into the darkened clouds above. They breached the clouds and the clouds parted open, like a small window opening.

A great shaft of Light broke through from heaven and touched down on the valley floor. The darkened mist separated where the shaft of light landed… and a tree began to grow.

And grow.

And grow.

The trunk of the tree grew and thickened without ceasing or slowing. It climbed high and strong, like a massive oak. Its roots buried deep into the earth, its branches never ceasing to reach upwards.

Within minutes, the tree had reached hundreds of feet into the air, higher than the edge of the cliff… its branches spreading far and wide.

One branch sensed my presence on top of the cliff, reached out and rested at my feet.

It beckoned me to come into the tree.

The branch was enormous. Wider than a forest path, broader than a street sidewalk.

I stepped onto its broad and strong timber and walked the branch into the tree.

As I came under its canopy, I could see the enormous branches of the tree extending in every direction, hundreds of levels of branches.

And in each branch, on every level, what I saw caught my breath.

People dwelled.

Hundreds of people.

I walked deeper into the tree amongst them.

Some were lying with open wounds, being bandaged and cared for. Others hobbling with arms, legs, heads and torsos bandaged. But they were safe ... and healing.

The Tree was a sanctuary for their wounds to heal and their strength to be restored. They were offered food and drink that not only quenched their hunger and thirst, but nourished their spirit and soul.

Here, they healed.

Here, they revived.

Here, they were restored.

I continued walking from branch to branch, observed others around me living in the tree.

Some were sitting in hollows in The Tree… eyes closed and in sublime worship. Complete peace filled their spirit and soul as they soaked in the overwhelming presence of God.

They worshipped and prayed.

And although the peace that surrounded them was so obvious and tangible, there was also a strength that flowed through their veins. Their intimacy with God was powerful.

They had an unshakable Identity forming within them... an Identity they were receiving from their Intimacy with God... an Identity that could not be shaken.

The Tree provided the place for them to enter the Holy Presence of God and become all they were created and designed to be in Him.

And then I observed others... they were preparing for war.

Swords and armour were being manufactured and sharpened.

Warriors were donning their armour, others were sparring, others discussing tactics. They were training, readying themselves for battle.

The Tree was their fortress ... and within this fortress... warriors were being raised up and prepared.

I came across a platform, rigged to an enormous pulley system that rose high into the tops of the tree... and also down to the dark valley floor.

I stepped onto the platform and it began lowering me down.

I passed branch after branch, level after level, of those who were in The Tree ... either bandaged and healing, or in intimacy with God, or warriors preparing for battle.

I couldn’t help but sense that The Tree created a journey for those safe within its canopies.

First healing and restoring, then intimacy and identity, then training and preparing as warriors.

The platform came to a halt on the valley floor. I looked up at the vast enormous Tree reaching up to the heavens above me. It was hard to fathom how enormous it was.

I could still here the song of the man on the top of the cliff... still crying out, shouting out the very song that broke the darkness and brought light to the valley floor… the light that birthed The Tree to life... The Tree that was now home to so many countless. This Tree bringing healing, Identity and the training of warriors.

But then I heard a sound the raised goose bumps on my skin and caused my spirit to shake.

The song was spread to those within The Tree. Those being healed, those in worship, those preparing for battle... their voices began to rise up. A rhythm, like tribal drums, accompanied their voices.

From every branch, every level, they began to sing the song that brought light into the darkness.

The Tree pulsated with the sound of the voices and the rhythms of its people.

The song, their cry, their shout... it carried out into the darkened valley.

And as I peered into the darkness - the dark mist around me began stirring.

People started appearing from all around, drawn by the song and cry of the those in the tree. Every one of them carried wounds of some description.

As they approached The Tree, more platforms were lowered around its vast trunk… and the men, women and children coming out of the darkness, climbed on and were lifted into the sanctuary of The Tree.

Wounds were bandaged.

Lives restored.

Identity found.

Warriors raised.

The song and drums grew louder as more and more joined the chorus.

And more and more came out of the darkness and were lifted into The Tree.

Then, while I watched, as the platforms came back down, they were carrying warriors… fully armoured, shields in one hand and swords in the other.

They were primed.

Ready for battle.

When their platforms touched down on the valley floor, they launched themselves into the darkness in every direction... the song and shout on the lips.

I jumped onto my own platform and rode it high to the apex of the tree.

From the very top, I could see the vast and endless valley floor below me.

I watched as the warriors ran out into the darkness, their song becoming an electrified current of air that raised up towards the black blanket of clouds above.

Each warrior staked their position in their own parcel of ground and stood defiantly against the darkness around. Above them, their song broke through the blackened clouds and light shot down upon them, creating a circle of light around them. As their voices continued to rise up, the circles of light around each of them began to expand, overtaking the darkness.

Wider... wider... wider they grew. The darkness being pushed back.

And the ground around them began bursting forth with life. Flourishing rich grasses, flowers, trees and wildlife.

Wherever the light invaded, life sprang forth.

I cast my eye over the valley as more and more patches of light appeared, one after another.

And then another.

And another ... and another.

Right across the darkened valley, circles of light appeared as warriors claimed their ground and shouted out their songs to the heavens.

With each warrior, I could see that the darkness resisted, pressing back against light.

And each warrior pushed back harder against the darkness.

The battle for some was easier than for others.

But the light continued to prevail against the darkness.

I watched as some warriors fell under the pressure of the darkness.

Other warriors arrived to stand in their stead and take up the ground, remaining vigilant in not allowing the darkness to reclaim the ground.

Others warriors arrived and lifted their fallen comrades to their feet and helped them back to the Great Tree. They were lifted into the sanctuary of the branches.

Wounds were healed, identity restored, the warrior raised once more… and once more they returned out into the valley.

The more patches of light that appeared, the more people were drawn out of the darkness and to The Great Tree.

And then it began to happen.

The circles of light, expanding and growing, began to reach and join other circles of light, instantly increasing the territory of Light... two fold, three fold…five fold... tenfold.

The valley floor began transforming… where once there was a desolate void of darkness, was now a growing and thriving valley of life and light.

Remaining patches of darkness were raided, claimed and overcome… and life sprung forth in its place.

I turned my eyes upwards to the dark blanket of clouds… and instead saw blue skies and glorious light overtaking the skies. The clouds were dissipating and clearing and light began streaming into the valley.

The song and rhythms grew louder and louder until the entire valley was alive with the thunderous sound of the voices and song of God’s people proclaiming the Glory of God.

Darkness was broken.

Healing and restoration found.

Unshakable Identity born.

Warriors raised.

And the valley was now alive and flourishing, overflowing with abundant life.

Just as God had intended it to be.

Revival had come.


Who are you?

Someone needing healing?

Someone seeking your Identity?

Someone training to become the warrior God intended you to be?

The one claiming ground and pushing back the darkness?

Or perhaps you‘re longing to come out of the darkness and come to The Great Tree... where you can find healing and be restored?

Whoever you are... come.

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