EPISODE 23: The MICRO-COSMOS
a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger. "Berlin is a microcosm of Germany, in unity as in division"
: something (such as a place or an event) that is seen as a small version of something much larger
humankind regarded as the epitome of the universe. "the belief in correspondences between the Universe and Man—between microcosm and macrocosm"
A microcosm is a "little world" - "mikros kosmos" in Greek. The Greek term was modified to "microcosmus" in Medieval Latin. When early medieval scholars referred to humans as miniature embodiments of the natural universe, they either employed the Latin word microcosmus or they used the English translation, "less world." "Man is callyd the lasse worlde, for he shewyth in hymselfe lyknesse of all the worlde," wrote John Trevisa when he translated the Latin text of Bartholomaeus Anglicus’ encyclopedia in the 14th century. But by the 15th century scholars had adopted an anglicized version of the Latin word, the word we use today - "microcosm."
LECTURES ON FAITH
12 From the foregoing testimonies, we learn the following things respecting the character of God.
13 First, That he was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was, after it was created.
14 Secondly, That he is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.
15 Thirdly, That he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday today and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.
16 Fourthly, That he is a God of truth and cannot lie.
17 Fifthly, That he is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.
18 Sixthly, That he is love.
Here is the picture Brent (pictured above) found of Bro Colburn and his wife with him. 1995
The following is an excerpt from a letter from my favorite son, Indiana Green.
"MY BIGGEST "UNFORGETTABLE"
"The other experience I had is the coolest, most special, and most spiritual moment I've had in my entire life. I could write PAGES on how special it was but I'll just give you all a summary of what happened and what it's taught me.
My Dad actually served in my EXACT mission! The California Roseville Mission! And it truly was while my father was out here serving where he got his true testimony. While serving, he was in a town called Olivehurst for 10 months and met a member named Brother Colburn who was a convert himself. He did SO much for the work as a member and literally CHANGED MY DAD'S LIFE. With the amazing example he set for my dad, he played a pivotal role in strengthening his testimony. However after he was transferred, my dad lost contact with him, and years later I was raised on many stories about this man without even knowing it!
When I first came to the Plumas Lake area, I told my Dad I was near the town of Olivehurst and his eyes immediately perked up! His whole energy changed and he immediately retold me some of the stories of this man and told me he actually lived in Olivehurst! I actually live with the Elders who cover this area and he invited me to ask them if they knew him and if he was still there. When I ran the name by them, they did know someone with that name. But as I began to describe what my dad had told me, we were not talking about the same person. The only way we could find out for sure was to see a photo. I asked my Dad if he had a picture, but unfortunately he didn't. Unable to solve this mystery we decided to forget about it.
However a few days later, as my Dad was cleaning out his closet, one singular picture fell down from a shelf and fell on the floor in front of him. He bent down to pick it up and it happened to be a picture of him with Brother Colburn! He immediately sent me the photo and I showed the other Elders. They informed me that was the same guy! So I set up an exchange with one of them, and we tried to get in contact with Brother Colburn to set something up but we couldn't! We tried calling and texting him for nearly a week, but we couldn't get any contact with him. The day of the exchange finally came, and I still felt with surety in my heart the need to visit this man and knock on his door (despite COVID'S current restrictions). We prayed about it, then we drove all the way out to his house. I worked up all the courage I had and knocked. And then I saw him! The now-old grandpa came to the door and asked what we wanted. I showed him the picture and told him who my dad was and he remembered him perfectly! Outside on his own doorstep he immediately broke down into tears. He was SO warm to us and begged us to come into his home. His daughter was home with him and he filled her in on what was happening, and who I was and then SHE started crying too! Don't get me wrong, the spirit was so strong but I still didn't know the real reason they were in tears until later.
Hoping I would meet him soon, I had my dad write a letter to him in advance and email it to me for the day I finally would get to meet this man. So here I was and I hadn't read it yet because I believed it to be private. But while we were talking in his home, I told Brother Colburn I had a letter from my Dad and passed my phone to him to read it. But he said, "Oh I can't read off those things! Would you please read it to me?" and so I did. It was a BEAUTIFUL letter where my Dad recounted stories, memories, and feelings for this man. It was just full of his recognition for all Brother Colburn did for him. Probably about 10 seconds into the letter, this sweet man covered his face with his hands and began to SOB. Needless to say we were all in tears by the end and the spirit was so strong! Brother Colburn was so touched by that letter and then told us he would clean up really quickly by putting on a shirt and combing his hair and then we would take a picture to send back to my dad.
As he was getting ready for this picture, his daughter pulled us aside and informed us with tears, that this is God answering their prayers in the deepest and most powerful way ever!
Many years ago as soon he was converted, Brother Colburn became one of the strongest members this church had ever known. He was a man of unshakable faith! He did just as much for the missionary work as the missionaries! He was at every baptism, lesson, and meeting he could be. He fellowshipped people into the ward like no other. He and his wife raised their entire family on the gospel and the Savior's love for them. At one time he also packed everything he had and with his wife went on a big road trip to visit every single temple in the western states! He has become one of the most Christ-like, optimistic, and kind people this world has ever known.
Yet 3 years ago, his wife passed away with no preparation and no warning. And it completely shattered him and his faith. Very recently, Brother Colburn had a heart attack and tried to drive himself to the hospital (thats the type of BEAST he is) got in a car accident, and just about died. As he was in the hospital, this daughter flew out from San Diego to tend his side. And as he sat there contemplating it all, he said to her how he just about died being a man of no faith and he couldn't believe what he has allowed himself to come too. He told her how sorry he was for giving up his faith and he needs to start getting it back. "I need the Elders," he said, "to give me a blessing". They tried reaching out to the Elders but had no idea how to get their number. A week later as his recovery went on they forgot about it, and let it slip their minds. But then here 2 Elders come in such a miraculous such way and at miraculous timing. A physical and LITERAL answer to this family's prayers. She was in tears describing this and how she had NO doubt we were in the room because Heavenly Father knew he would fall off, but he NEEDS him to be a part of this work again. After she just barely finished telling us the story and the behind-the-scenes of all this, He finally came back out all cleaned-up and snazzy and we took the picture. We then talked some more, and then felt the need to offer him a priesthood blessing. He said he felt in his heart he had been waiting for this blessing all his life and he would love nothing more from us. We gave him the desired blessing, and the spirit in that room was CONSUMING. Life changing! So powerful! Again, many tears were shed haha. After we finished the blessing, he asked for my dad's number so he could call him "sometime". I gave it to him and since I was worried he would forget, I was bold and told him to call my dad then and there. With a grin on his face he dialed in the numbers (which took this guy about 20 minutes he's not the most Tech-Savy) and called my Dad. Immediately we all hear my dad's classic line whenever answering the phone, "This is Brent." And Brother Colburn goes "Is this Elder Green?". My dad was a little confused and says "No it's not" and then Brother Colburn replied "Well you sure was when you were serving down here with me". Immediately you hear the understanding and surprise in my dad's voice and he recognized who it was and what was happening. And let me just say it was the coolest thing in the WORLD for me to witness! :)) They then just had the most wonderful conversation together like my Dad had never left. Both were nearly in tears, but they were tears of gratitude and love. After about 20 minutes of expressing their gratitude for each other and vowing 5 or 6 times to keep in touch, they finished up the call. Brother Colburn was SO touched that he left that impact on someone. He truly thought no one had noticed nor cared. He didn't think he left anything worthwhile behind. But what an amazing feeling it was for him 27 years later to learn he HAS made ALL the difference in someone else's life. He was so grateful that he saved my Dad's faith and 27 years later in the same city and same house, my dad was able to help to do the same for him. And I was simply a tool in Heavenly Father's hands to complete this and make it a full circle. As we were leaving he then asked "Elder can I give you a hug?" and just held me. And we were weeping on eachothers shoulders for a good 20 seconds. He kept on saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you". Saying goodbye was tough, but I hope to someday see this amazing man again. He has officially re-commited to becoming a fully-active member of the church again and doing ALL he can to bring forth God's work for the rest of his life.
Hands down, it was the coolest experience of my mission and one I will treasure and never forget. I know it's a story I will tell my kids, who will tell their kids, and be passed down into our family history. But I can't IMAGINE leaving for Taiwan last year or later and missing that opportunity! I'm so grateful for such a powerful witness that God needed me here so I could be the tool that he needed me to be. :))
But above all people! What a powerful witness that this served to me that our Heavenly Parents are ALWAYS aware of their children. At ALL times, and in ALL places they know what's best for us! They move us all like chess pieces to be instrumental in other's lives! We all help and save each other. I'm sure I never would be on a mission without Brother Colburn's influence on my dad. And I know Brother Colburn would be lost without the influence of my Dad on me and him as well. God is at all times and all places! My mission is winding down, and its after weeks like this that I feel I have "no time" as the song suggests. But this served as a powerful reminder to me to OWN every second this mission, and this world gives!
If you made it to the end of this, wow! My hats off to you! But I hope that it served as a reminder to you that whether you may know it or not, God is ALWAYS aware of you! No matter what, remember your "unforgettable's"! They will become an anchor to your soul in the hard storms of life!
You are LOVED! By our Heavenly Parents, our Savior, and me! Love you all so much! Let me know if I can ever do anything for any of you!