"Wow," said Joan opening her kitchen door to her neighbor Susan. "You look happy today. What caused the change?"
"Well," hesitated Susan. "If I tell you it will sound like I'm crazy or bragging."
"Oh, come on, we've been friends for years," Joan continued. "You can tell me!"
"Last night," said Susan, "as I was brushing my teeth a chunk broke out of a tooth."
"Breaking a tooth made you look this peaceful and happy?," interrupted Joan.
"No, it didn't," said Susan. "Actually, I went to bed telling God that I was at the end of my rope. Eventually I fell asleep and had a dream," said Susan.
"And?" said Joan.
"In my dream," started Susan, "I was walking through a lovely meadow and then I saw a side path with a man standing by it. He put his hand out and pointed me down the side path. There was a sign there that said that's where it gets really weird!"
"Continue," said Joan, "what did the sign say?"
"It said 'Jesus Asylum,' " finished Susan timidly.
"Jesus Asylum? That does sound weird," said Joan, "but what happened next?"
"I only remember coming into a completely loving, calming and peaceful presence," sighed Susan.
"You look like you're still in that dream," said Joan, "but, Jesus Asylum?"
"The word asylum bothered me too," said Susan, "I mean, I may be stressed but when I think about needing an asylum it's like I'm beyond help somehow. I looked it up though and found that asylum means 'haven, shelter, retreat,' which was what I really needed."
"So, what happened in the asylum?" asked Joan.
"I didn't see a face and it didn't matter. I only knew that I was in a presence that was so perfect that I never wanted to leave," finished Susan.
"And then?" asked Joan.
"That seemed to be the end of the dream. However, the peace and comfort are still with me. I just love it," finished Susan.
"I can see that," said Joan, "I wish God would give me a dream like that. How do you rate?"
"I don't 'rate' any more than you do," said Susan quickly. "I remember stories you've told me about events that could only be gifts from God. I am humbled that God gave me this taste of heavenly peace."
"Yes, I do remember some special experiences," said Joan.
"I was just thinking about a Bible verse," said Susan. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid," John 14:27.
"It sounds like God's peace means something very different to you than it used to," said Joan.
"True, and I still can't describe the depth of it," concluded Susan.
Those of you who read my articles have asked if the stories I write are true. When they are written in story form, they are usually fictitious. When they are about me, they are usually written in first person. This time I chose to write my personal experience in story form. I am humbled that God gave me this amazing gift of tasting a bit of what heavenly peace will be like. It was truly indescribable. The unearthly peace from that dream stayed with me for several days before slowly fading. That made the experience all the more amazing. This kind of peace awaits all who love God and live their lives for him. Give yourself an eternal Christmas gift that won't end up at a yard sale after you are gone. Seriously seek what a life focused on Christ is like.
Helen McCormack writes the Reflections column every six weeks. She and her husband, David, serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Germany.