It was the night of February 28 – March 1 when I had been up all night the day before with an acute case of pancreatitis that I had this dream about heaven. It was, at least, a dream about a place where Jesus was present along with lots of people who loved him. You can decide if it sounds like heaven to you.
I was in the hospital for what would become the first of seven nights when I received this gift to comfort me in the midst of pain. The pain had quieted enough for me to sleep, which was something I hadn’t experienced for a few nights.
Being able to remember the details of a dream and to be buoyed emotionally by that memory are unusual for me. Like most folks I tend to dream various themes related to daily activities or past experiences that are quickly forgotten once I am awakened. This was different.
The dream began in a car. I was traveling with a few friends. Some I hadn’t seen in years and others I knew quiet well. That was typical of a Facebook-enriched subconscious mind. We were driving a bit too fast going south on Briarcliff Road in northeast Atlanta. As we turned left onto E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, we lost control and in a flash we were traveling in a hovercraft and making our approach into a welcome center port that reminded me of the entrance to an Epcot Center exhibit of the 1980s. We climbed out and were greeted by very deeply pleasant people of varying ages. You can tell when people are authentically happy by their eyes and demeanor. They were fully present with us. They directed us toward a portion of the expansive lobby that was a bit more narrow and featured window displays and exhibits of food, clothing and vehicles. I sensed that I should pay attention to these exhibits for future selections. I didn’t notice what people were wearing as I was so drawn to their faces and expressions of peace and wholeness – what we often call shalom.
Shortly, then, I walked outside to a beautiful sunlit sky and people in all directions as far as I could see. Everyone was walking and talking. And as I passed by there was a smile and a nod. Some of the people I passed I felt that I knew or had some connection with. I noticed one friend and went over to greet him. I observed that nobody was alone. There were some folks walking and some sitting, but nobody sat alone.
Occasionally, I caught the brief flash and gleam of another hovercraft landing near the entrance of the cave structure. And there were storefronts scattered along the way. I couldn’t tell if they were bakeries or coffee shops, but there were many one-story buildings and people walking in and out in random patterns.
Also, there was an unmistakable buzz. Something was about to happen. Jesus was on his way to speak to everyone. The buzz was one of familiarity. His appearance was not being anticipated with fear or uncertainty, but with a positive energy, like a friend saying, “This is going to be so good!”
I had never been in a place or atmosphere like this. It was new, but I felt completely at home and relaxed. Everyone was so happy to be here. Everyone.
That’s when it began to dawn on me that this must be a vision of heaven. Where else would it be?
- Everyone happy to be there.
- Nobody was alone.
- Folks couldn’t wait to see Jesus.