The inspiration for this story comes from Choctaw mythology, a tribe that was primarily located in the midwest, including central Illinois where my great grandmother, who was a Choctaw Indian was born. They also lived in Oklahoma which is actually a Choctaw name.
A father takes his young son into the woods, blindfolds him and walks away. The boy must sit there until the morning rays of sunlight warm his face. He cannot cry out and ask for help, he must simply sit there in the cold, dark hours of the night. If he is able to go through the night without crying out to anyone, he will be considered a man. He cannot share this story with his young friends, because each young boy must become a man on his own.
The boy is terrified, hearing all kinds of night noises, some real and some not. He hears wild animals quietly stalking through the woods, the wind blows through the tall grass making low moaning noises. The night stretches out slowly and painfully, too afraid and cold, the boy just sits there quietly shaking and hoping the night will be over soon.
Finally he feels warmth on his face and he sits there a few minutes to make sure that morning has come at last. A smile wipes away his fear from the night as he slowly rips off the blindfold and looks up into the sunshine. He looks all around him and sees his father sitting on a stump right next to him. He had been watching over his young son all night, protecting him from harm in those dark and ominous woods.
We are never alone, even if it feels that way at times. God is always watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is ask for His help and he will support us and give us strength to get through those dark nights in the woods. Faith is believing that even though we cannot see God, we know that he is always there for us in our daily lives, no matter how small, no matter how big and overwhelming our problems might be.