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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Tower (an Allegory)

by Ron Scurfield

21 November 2023

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The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10, NIV

I’ve always known that the tower existed, in the dark recesses of my mind. I knew nothing about it, but it seemed to be important, in a vague sort of way. I was walking in the hills, a favourite pastime of mine, nothing too strenuous or too far, just around my local area. The landscape was familiar and I knew where I was, most of the time. It was Sunday afternoon. The weather was fine, with a light breeze, and a brisk walk was just what I needed to clear my head from all the stresses of the previous week. I set off.

Very quickly the sky changed. Grey clouds were forming above the horizon and the breeze became fresher. I had packed a light waterproof in my rucksack, and was wearing strong boots so I didn’t think too much about it. I continued on my way, confident of my route as I picked my way through the tufts and heather. The wind suddenly became chilly and the sky darkened. My route was a circular track that would take me back home again. I plodded on.

The rain started. The wind became stronger. I was surprised at the speed the weather was changing. Before long rain was battering my face, backed by the strong wind. I pulled my hood down over my head and quickened my stride. I knew the route well and would soon be home again, I thought. Then I realised the terrain was no longer familiar.

There was a rumble of thunder in the distance. I pushed on, searching for a recognisable landmark. There was none. I had to admit to myself I was lost. I must have taken a wrong turning in the rapidly changing weather. There was a flash of lightning, followed by a deafening clap of thunder. Where was I?

A confused fear gripped my mind as I scanned the area around me, looking for some recognisable landmark. A dark shape loomed ahead. Blindly I stumbled towards it, hoping It might offer some shelter. Then another blinding flash of lightening pierced the storm. It was a building of some kind. I fortunately found a door and desperately turned the handle, and staggered inside. Slamming the door shut I slid to the floor with a feeling of relief and gratitude.

The place was well lit, yet there were no lights that I could see. A high arched ceiling was supported by sturdy pillars. I felt a deep sense of peace - and something else I couldn’t name - glowing inside me. The tower. I had avoided it for years; afraid of it in a strange way. Yet something had drawn me towards it. I felt I had come home. I was safe, and welcome, and loved.

My Sunday school days came flooding back to me. The God I barely knew. The love I had never known. ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.’ The storm died away as quickly as it had come. It had served its purpose.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.


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