Sunday, November 8, 2009
Just a Story
Sweat rolled down my forehead. I could hear the sound of my breathing and feel every rough spot in the floor below my hands and knees. The smell of years of dust and mildew pressed in and made me want to sneeze, but I knew I must not - it would give us away. "It has to be here," I thought to myself, "I know it is here."
I crawled on under the barriers that we had erected. A floor board squeaked behind me and I paused to listen. The sound came again along with a small sniffle - it was only Karen in the other room. The children were depending on us to find those pages. They had to know the truth the way we had been taught.
"If only", I mused to myself. "If only what?" I thought back over the previous ten years. So much had happened. The things that we so often took for granted then were only memories now, and dangerous ones at that. We could not even talk about the before...
I again heard a sound from behind me. Something shifted and then scurried over my hands. Ugh, a rat. From the smell of urine, I knew that I must be near a rat nest. "Oh please, let it not be the pages." I continued ahead and crawled beneath a grouping of tables and chairs covered with a thin layer of mildew. Near the very back corner of the room I felt around on the floor. Beneath the frayed edges of the remnants of carpet I found the edge of the floor board.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the flashlight that I had covered with a cloth so that only a very small weak beam of light showed, and a tiny screwdriver. I positioned the light on my shoulder and held it in place with my head. Using both hands now, I pried open the board and peered inside the new opening. "Thank You, Jesus," I prayed quietly. Inside the opening was an oil cloth package laying on top of a thin layer of brown powder that I could see had not been disturbed. The pages were within.
I thought back to the day we had all created these very small crevices throughout the building. Before the building was confiscated, we had made sixteen small secret spots in the floor all over the second story. We knew some might be found, but not all. Each of the secret spaces had been reinforced with extra wood, lined with a small layer of wax and then covered the bottoms of each with coffee beans. In each space, we had put in a precious package like the one I held in my hand. We knew it had been a risk and a miracle that the building had even survived. I thought back to Pastor Steve's decision to turn the building quickly over to the government to hold their re-indoctrination classes. He knew if they were using it, they were less likely to destroy it. The sanctuary had been burned to the ground, but the education building had survived.
There was no time to see which pages I had. I needed to move on to the next space. I looked at the schematic in my hand. Anyone looking at it would just see symbols that appeared to be plugs in walls. However, if you knew what was really there, it would lead you to the right spot. There were four of us that had these plans, and only the spots that were marked on your pages were on your plans. Karen, Aaron, and Michael held different plans. We had to do that in case someone figured out the plans or turned. Until today, I did not know who the other plan holders were.
The room I was going into next was a bit riskier. It had a window that overlooked the field. It was going to be a bit harder to get this one. I glanced at my watch - an hour until sunrise and I had only gotten one packet. Three more to go.
I looked up and saw that this area had been cleared a bit, I could stand. I stood up and stretched, massaging the aching in my back. I sighed and then cautiously took a step. I could hear the others in other parts of the building. I glanced at the plans in my hands and turned left down the next hallway. My heart fell. I could see that there were floor boards in several areas that had been pried up. I glanced in the room I was heading to and saw an area of floor that was totally trashed. I did not have to get any closer to see that the spot was empty. My hope was that it was scavengers and not authorities.
All of a sudden, a light hit the window. "Oh no," I thought to myself, "they have found out somehow."
I hear Michael call out, "Everyone, quick outside. You are not going to believe this - it is beautiful."
My heart was pounding in my chest as I raced down the stairs. Just ahead of me I could see Aaron and Karen running hard. I was so scared. I hit the door and ran full into the outside. I glimpsed Aaron's shoes as he rounded the corner. "What is he doing? He is heading straight into the search light." I did not understand, so I followed. I rounded the building and ran into the field where the rest of my group was. I looked around and realized that this was where our church had once stood.
I looked up and realized that the light was not a searchlight like I had thought, but a ball of light so bright that it looked like the sun. "But that's impossible, daylight is in 45 minutes."
Shielding my eyes, I looked up again. The ball of light was moving closer. I felt someone bump me, it was Karen. She had a look of total awe on her face. I realized mine must look the same.
I felt someone at my left and turned expecting to see Michael or Aaron and instead saw a guard. I waited to be gunned down on the spot till I noticed the guard was not looking at me but the light - fear showing on his face. I then looked around and realized that a large group had formed. Many were believers like us, but others were guards, a couple of the officers, and then there were the bully followers. Everyone was staring up at the descending light.
My heart rejoiced as I realized that everything had not been in vain.
The light was beautiful. Flashes of color reached out from deep within. The intensity of the light should have blinded everyone of us, but it did not. I could see many had chosen to kneel on the ground and then realized that I too was kneeling.
The light stopped it's descent and hovered just above the ground. We watched, not daring to breath or blink lest we miss something.
Suddenly from the midst of the light stepped a woman. She was dressed in glowing white. Her hair was white and reached to the ground. Her skin glowed with vitality. I realized that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She turned to look at the light and opened up her arms as if to embrace it.
The light became a man. He was dressed in white robes and his dark hair flowed over his shoulders. The beauty of his presence was overwhelming. He looked around and even though his gaze stopped on no one, I know that I felt like he had looked into the inner most part of my soul. I felt my face and realized that tears were streaming down my cheeks. I lay down on my face before him and cried. I peeked up at him.
He turned slowly to the woman and opened up his arms. She stepped into his embrace and then disappeared. I heard a gasp and peeked out from my hands. Several of the guards and bully followers, and all of the officers had knelt, but not of their own choice. They struggled to stay on their feet. Several stood and had their weapons out and started to move towards the man. They were angry that the woman had disappeared because they had wanted her. He held up his hands and all who had tried to attack him fell dead on the ground.
He turned to the rest of us, many who were prostate on the ground. He motioned for us to stand and then pointed to the west. As I stood, I turned and looked. Where the church had once stood was a tree of light. Surrounding it were beings of brilliant light and beside them on a long table was a book that was open.
Person after person stood and walked to the book. They put their finger on the book as if to search for something. Everyone would hang their head and sob. Then, some looked up with a smile and continued past the tree and the beings. Many others would yell out with a "NO!" and would turn and flee into the darkness that was outside the field.
Then it was my turn. I walked up to the large book. My heart was pounding. Every deed I had ever done, both good and bad was brought to memory. My head bowed and I sobbed realizing that even my best was not good. Peace filled me and I looked up. My hand went out with my fore finger pointing. The page was blank before me but I knew that as soon as I touched it, I would know.
I woke up.
The story you just read is a dream that I had on October 20, 1990. I remember it today as if I had just dreamed it last night. This is the first time I have ever written it down, though I have verbally related it several times. I have intentionally not capitalized the mention and designations of the man. This is my dream - not the Gospel and I will respect that.
Whether you believe in the message of this dream or not is irrelevant. The truth has been written in His Word, the Bible. Jesus will return. He will call His Bride, the Church, to Him and each of us will be judged according to our own deeds. Those who belong to Him has their names in the Book of Life and will live eternity with Him. Those people who do not know Him and whose name is not in the book of life will be cast into eternal darkness away from Him.
Just one question, if this was you and you were putting your finger down, what would you see?