Monday, June 04, 2007
I had an interesting dream this week. And I felt like God gave me the interpretation . . .
I was at the Fairbanks airport, trying to round up my team to fly to our target village on the Yukon River. As I was making sure everyone had their boarding passes, I saw Annette T. standing in the ticket line.
This startled me for two reasons. 1) Annette was not part of our outreach team, and 2) Annette died in January.
She looked really good, though. For as long as I'd known Annette, she'd been locked in a deadly battle with cancer. She'd fought so bravely and had beaten the odds for so many years, I think we were all surprised--Annette especially so--when cancer overtook her and Jesus gathered her worn-out body up in His arms this winter.
It was hard to tell Annette's age in my dream, so great was her radiance. I hugged her--she was real and no ghost--and asked the obvious question: How she could be standing next to me, preparing for a mission trip to the bush, when her family had buried her only a few months back?
Annette grinned and started to answer, but we were interrupted by a steady stream of of folks who wanted to join our mission team. I was surprised to see Nate P., a young man who had once expressed interest in missions but had since become involved with more worldly pursuits.
Nate explained that Annette had convinced him to step out in faith and join our team. As he went to purchase his ticket, more travelers trickled in, each with the same explanation: Annette had encouraged them to get involved with missions.
I awoke, puzzled by the dream and annoyed that I'd never gotten an answer from Annette. I wondered if I should email her husband and tell him about the dream. It had comforted me, but I know from experience that grief can be a tricky thing. So I asked the Lord for wisdom, and then turned to my daily devotional (from Streams in the Desert). Insight and inspiration came as I read:
When the sun goes below the horizon he is not set; the heavens glow for a full hour after his departure. And when a great and good man sets, the sky of this world is luminous long after he is out of sight. Such a man cannot die out of this world. When he goes he leaves behind him much of himself. Being dead, he speaks. --Beecher
I immediately emailed Annette's husband, describing my dream and attaching the quote. He replied within minutes, thanking me for the reminder that his wife's life still touches so many.
As a cool postscript to all this, I was hiking with a friend on Saturday and she invited me to go to Bolivia with her next fall as part of a medical mission team.
"I invited Nate P. to join us," she told me. "But so far, he hasn't seemed too interested."
"I wouldn't give up on him just yet," I told her. "God just might get ahold of his heart."
I could almost picture the thumb's-up from Annette!
So, I'm pretty sure that Annette never met Nate, or any of the other mission-trippers in my dream. But I know her life greatly impacted many and her influence lives on.
I'm still enjoying the sunset . . .