I had visited this patient a number of times and we had talked about many things that had deepened the trust between us. So when she asked me if I had ever heard people talk about seeing light at the end of the tunnel or special visions of the life to come I said that I had. I mentioned a visit in which the niece of a patient was telling her aunt that she had dreamed that she had seen a number of relatives who had died putting table cloths on tables and making preparations for a banquet. The aunt who had terminal cancer sat up and looked at her niece and said, “They are getting ready for me!” From the way this patient responded with such joy and eagerness I could tell that her niece’s dream had touched her deeply.
As I shared this story the patient said, “My mother had dementia and was in hospice care. She had suffered much for a lengthy period of time. I had sat at her bedside many days. I had prayed frequently that she could be delivered. I had prayed frequently that when she passed she would give me a sign that she was OK. On the day she finally died I went to her house. I was exhausted and my eyes were dry and red from weeping. I went to bed and I dreamed that I was walking on the streets of a city. It was windy and dirt and trash were blowing across the streets. It was not a pretty city. I came to a coffee shop and I went in. There was no one at the counter so I followed a hallway beyond the counter until I came to a back room used for banquets. My mother was setting the tables with beautiful china dishes and silver ware. When my mother was still well and healthy she and I would often go shopping and look at the china dishes. She loved fine things and she loved working in a coffee shop and serving people. When I woke up I felt such joy. After all she went through and after all I went through in my inability to help her I felt like my prayer had been answered. I had gotten my sign.”
I share this story for a couple of reasons. While we as Christians believe that we get to heaven by believing that Jesus loves us and forgives us all of our sins there are also personal things that happen to us as we lose loved ones that make us wonder about how things shake out in the process of leaving this world. We also wonder if we can bare our souls and ponder our questions with some one who will listen to our stories and not dismiss them as improbable or impossible.
While I have full confidence in what the Scriptures reveal to us about the life and death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus I also believe that our God can use dreams and signs to comfort the hearts of His people.
I encourage all of you to be kind and open to people as they open their hearts to you. They may have a story they need to tell and a dream to share. You will be blessed by their story and they will be blessed by your allowing them to share it. Who knows what we will see or hear if we believe that our God is unlimited in what He can do.