Recently, I had a dream that was both frightening and wonderful. It centered around a great war, maybe it was Armageddon. It was like when Voldemort was terrorizing Hogwarts and his voice surrounded the school with ominous doom. It was like that but not exactly. Instead there were terrible clashing mechanical noises and menacing voices booming in the distance. Then a darkness fell and a storm came with howling winds. My daddy was there for a second and there were other people I don’t’ remember. For a while I was with several people at my parents’ house, my dreams often center there, and we were powerless, sitting ducks. The house groaned from the storm like the sounds you hear in a horror movie haunting. I left briefly and saw my mother and then went back home. I remember saying out loud that I was less afraid of the dark woods across the street then I was of going back into the house. Then I was all alone; divided and separated from everyone I loved. When I was younger sometimes I would wake in panic in the middle of the night and run through the house turning on every light to make sure I was not alone. That is how I felt in my dream, panicked and desolate.
Then suddenly a calm came over me and I was at peace. Something inside told me the storm and the noises were just a ruse and all I had to do was go in the house and prepare and the storm would eventually pass. So I did. I began closing windows and shutting up the house as if preparing for a hurricane. In the front bedroom there is a door that leads to the front porch and I had trouble shutting and locking it against the hammering wind. When I finally clicked the lock securely I turned to shut the side window and I saw my daddy running in the yard along the side of the house. Joy! I no longer had to fight alone. My daddy was there to protect me! I began yelling, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!” but my voice was weak against the howling wind. I couldn’t get out of the door I had just locked so I tore through the house still yelling, desperate for him to hear me. I bounded out the front door and I met him at the foot of the steps and flew into his arms. He flashed me the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen and said something I only wish I could remember. All that mattered at that moment was I reunited with my daddy when I thought I was alone and doomed.
I attribute this dream as a visit, for that hug was real and he was there with me in that moment. I think maybe I was in heaven at that split second, and I was offered a glimpse of what it will be like on that day when I do get to heaven and am really reunited with my daddy and my Father. If the joy I felt in my dream is only a miniscule fraction of what it will really be like then let me count the days.
Separation. Divide and conquer. How much is that dream like our relationships with God? Satan works best when he can get us alone and use our temptations and sins separate us from God. But when we fight back and brace ourselves for the storm we can realize it is all a smokescreen and we can become closer to God and experience the reunion.
I remembered my dream last night when I listened to the Gospel at the Easter vigil. The feeling I experienced in my dream must be like the emotions the Marys felt when they met Jesus on the road after his resurrection. They fell to the ground and grasped His feet in worship, so says Matthew. Maybe it was also to assure themselves He was real, like I did when I held tight to my daddy at the foot of the steps to my childhood home. And after communion when we sang, “I will raise you up on the last day”, I could no longer hold back the tears. Let me count the days.