By Pat McClendon
One morning just before arising I fell into a deep sleep, or trance. I found myself sitting on the bank of a beautiful flowing river and next to me sat an African American man. I knew I was sitting by Little Black Sambo, but now he was an old man and everyone called him Uncle Sambo.
We both sat together for a while in silence as we watched the flowing river. I began to sense Uncle Sambo was about to impart something to me. He looked at me and said, “Let me tell you my story.
“When I was a young boy my mother made me a beautiful red coat and bright blue pants. The bright gold buttons on the coat could out shine the sun and the lovely purple trim made me feel like a king. When my father saw me wearing the red coat and blue pants, he immediately went to the store and purchased for me a bright green umbrella and a pair of purple shoes with crimson soles and linings. I felt so special, that I desired to show off my new raiment to the community. As I strolled through the streets, everyone seemed to turn and watch as I walked by. Caught up in the grander of it all, I continued to walk not realizing I was walking away from the protection of the community right into the dangerous jungle. Before I knew it, a veracious tiger ran right toward me. His eyes were red with anger and his mouth was wide open. Because of fear, I begged the tiger to spare my life, and in exchange I would give him my beautiful red coat. He was not impressed with my offer, but I convinced him he would be beautiful wearing it, and besides he would be the only tiger in the jungle with a beautiful red coat. The tiger agreed with my proposal and as he walked away I could hear him say, “ I am the grandest tiger in the jungle.”
Word got out in the jungle about the tiger with the red coat and everyone could hear him declare he was the grandest tiger in the jungle. Before I could get back home, three other tigers approached me, and each agreed they would spare my life for one of my garments. I lost all of my garments willingly to the roaring tigers. All I had left for covering were my under pants.
Frantic and tired I began running through the jungle, trying to find my way back home. It was not long before I could hear the mighty roar of the tigers. Though very frightened, I walked in the direction of the noise. As I drew closer, I saw the tigers had removed my clothes and were fighting with each other for the position of being the grandest tiger in the jungle. They were latched onto each other’s tail and were circling around this large tree. The noise was deafening as four tigers were growling and clawing each other. With a loud voice I ask the tigers if they wanted my clothes, but they could not answer for they were so consumed in themselves. I quickly put on the clothes and ran for home. How happy I was when I could see the white fence that surrounded the yard and smell the fragrance of the roses. Though very tired, I ran as fast as I could to reach the entrance and without a word spoken, I went straight to my room and fell on my lovely warm bed and was soon fast asleep.”
“When my father came home from work he was carrying two large pails of beautiful butter. He told my mother he discovered this large pool of melted butter around a tree not far from their home, and scooped up as much as he could. My mother fired up the stove and made a large batch of pancakes for dinner. I ate so much I could hardly sleep that night. I never told my parents about the adventure. Yet each time I wore my beautiful clothes, I was reminded of that day.
Sambo then said, “ I have often wondered what happened to that beautiful red coat, bright blue pants, green umbrella, and purple shoes with crimson soles and linings.” Not long after he said that a large barge came floating by with stacks of wooden containers. As Sambo gazed at the containers, he asked me, “I wonder what is in those containers?” As soon as he said that, one of the containers fell off the barge and floated onto the shore where we were sitting. “My, oh my,” said Sambo, “ I wonder what could be in there?” We approached the container and I could see it was very old, for the corners were worn and the wood had become dark with age. Sambo begins to pry open the container, and to our surprise there it was, the beautiful red coat, bright blue pants, green umbrella, and the purple shoes with crimson soles and lining. I thought Sambo was going to faint as he removed the clothes from the old worn box. I watched as tears ran down his cheeks and his whole body began to shake with joy. We both danced around shouting, “We are the grandest tiger in the jungle!” As I watched, Sambo pulled out each piece of clothing from the old box and very carefully put them on me, then he said; “Now you are the grandest tiger in the jungle.”
When I woke from the trance I knew the Lord was telling not only me, but also a lot of us, that we had given away our “Kingly” covering or authority over to the tigers (the roaring thoughts of fear and intimidations), but God is once again going to cover us once again with those lost garments. That which was lost has been found and returned to the rightful owners – His chosen people.