My son Robbie died fifteen years ago. It was suicide. It was intentional. He was 21.
The pain of knowing he had gone to his death without accepting Jesus as his Savior was more than I could bear. He had made it perfectly clear that he wanted nothing to do with “Bible thumpers.” Even though the initial shock faded, the following months were hard. I was angry at him.
A few weeks after his death, when I felt the need to do something “physical,” I gathered up all of his photos and stored them in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind. I needed to distance myself from the tormenting thought that he had just entered eternity without God, and from the guilt that I had not done more for him.
One morning at dawn, eleven months later and out of the blue, I had a dream of him. I’m not compelled to share all of it, but this is the result of it.
In this dream, I saw him as a three-year-old bouncing up and down on my bed. As he bounced, he began to sing broken lines of the old gospel song “I Saw the Light.”
I got up and got busy with my day, but the dream kept coming back to me. It would not leave my thoughts. After a few hours, when it had literally reached the point of pestering me, I began to reflect on the possibility of this dream being initiated by God. Robbie had seen the Light, Jesus, literally! is how my mind had interpreted his song.
Was it possible that he had talked to the Lord sometime during that night? What a thought!
First, the dream pestered me to the point of aggravation. After that, I found myself standing in absolute awe at the possibility of God sending me a message through a dream. Finally, I heard myself asking Him for a confirmation.
My prayer was, “Lord, if this dream came from You and my interpretation is correct that Robbie saw the Light and is with You today, let me hear the song “I Saw the Light” sometime during this day.” I had not heard the song in years. “If I do not hear the song this very day, I will consider this to have been just another dream. Period.” The sheer bluntness of the prayer confirmed my small expectations.
Then I added, “I didn’t ask for this dream. The thought of Robbie being in Heaven has never even crossed my mind. So, if you do confirm this, I ask that the confirmation be so definite that it cannot be questioned or mistaken for anything else.” I refused to exaggerate His response.
This dream occurred within the waking moments of a Friday morning.
At the time, I worked as a Retail Store cashier. I had to work that night. Friday evenings were always hectic, and this particular day was to be no exception.
Shortly after I arrived at work, both the dream and my prayer were forgotten as I dove into the craziness of the weekend check-out crowds.
A few hours later, after being relieved for my lunch break, I headed for my locker in the back hallway to retrieve my purse. Normally, the back hallway would have been a loud, hectic place as store employees pushed past each other in their race to the break room, bathrooms and time clocks.
This day was different…
I found myself completely alone in a deserted hallway, surrounded by a quietness so unusual that I could almost feel it. As I stood at my locker in that stillness, a softly playing song from an overhead speaker caught my attention. It was unusual that the store’s satellite radio could be heard at all.
A country song that I had not heard before was playing; and when the woman reached its chorus, I heard the words, “I saw the light.” Instantly, the dream came back to me; and in a mild state of shock I stood motionless as I waited to hear its chorus again. I wanted to be absolutely sure that I had just heard what I thought I had heard. Again… “I saw the light.”
I felt the hair on my arms stand up.
For me to have been completely alone
…in a quiet place; an eerily silent hallway on the busiest night of the weekend
…precisely within the time span of a three-minute song
…and to have heard the radio at all, much less with clarity and without distractions, could have not been an accident.
In a daze, I walked out of the hallway in tears that day, knowing without a doubt that Robbie had met with God that night, and that he is now forever with Jesus. I also realized, almost by revelation, that if Robbie hadn’t had that ‘alone time’ with the Lord that night that the opportunity to get real with God probably wouldn’t have come his way again.
It’s the ‘thief on the cross’ story all over again. God will pursue us to the very last minute, and He will forgive us at any stage of our lives.
THAT is Mercy! THAT is Grace! And His Mercy and Grace ARE amazing!
Correspondence may be emailed to Hope Wingo at firstname.lastname@example.org