Thursday, 16 October 2014

I walked with God, and nearly died of sorrow.

I dreamt I took a walk with God. It was a slow walk, a stroll. It was a walk to nowhere. He was unusually quiet. He did not make a sound. I tried to look at his face but something restrained me. All I could see was things around me. Initially, I saw the beauty of nature. The landscape of mountains. The cool endless breeze. The ocean and the streams and the placid rivers. I also saw the royal expanse of the sky above. It was an awe-consuming sight. I was soaking it all in.

Then things turned a little dark. I felt something amiss. God was not the least ruffled. He was as calm as a rock. He kept his composure. But I was getting nervous, really worried. I knew I would be safe with him, the Creator of the universe. Yet, I was feeling the foreboding closing in.

Then, I heard a scream. It was a sharp piercing one. It was at this time that I witnessed my first tragedy. My heart raced. I saw a gang rape. My peace was shattered. She was young, no more than ten. It was somewhere in a remote village in South Africa I think. The girl was tasked to fetch water for her sisters back to the village where they lived. They were all starving, dying of thirst. The girl had no choice. She drew the shortest end of stick. She had to go out.

The men were young. A group of six at least. They didn’t look like they knew what they were doing. They had no hesitation, no visible guilt registered. It was getting dark and they each took their turn with her. Each of them eagerly waiting for the next one to end, impatient even. Lust paid no heed to anything else. Strangely, she did not beg or plead with them. She just screamed, high-pitch. And it was heartrending.

I saw splatters of blood and a frantic struggle for life. It lasted for what seemed like hours. The contrast was deplorable beyond words. On one side was violence personified. On the other was innocence ravaged. It was life viciously drawing out life from a helpless life. I couldn’t understand the barbarity. I was speechless; yet I couldn’t do anything. I tried to reach out to her but again I was restrained. It was as if it was not meant to be for me. My will was ring-fenced somehow, straitjacketed.

I then turned to God, stupefied and stunned. I couldn’t understand God’s silence. He didn’t even take a look. He just walked on. He was not the least troubled. Unlike me, God was unmoved. Though he was not in a hurry, he was nevertheless stoic. He just walked by. 

The scene changed after that. Before me, I saw a beaming horizon. A silhouette of dispersing light. The night turned into day. As dawn broke, we kept walking. It was a walk to nowhere. I dared not ask. God didn’t seem to be interested to talk.

My mind was still on that little girl. Her life so young was destroyed. Though we had covered much distance, my heart stayed at the exact spot where the girl met her fate. I even felt a tear or two streaming down my cheek.

It was at this time that something distracted me. The scene around me changed in a wink of an eye. What unfolded was a mother holding on to her precious baby in the delivery ward. The mother was overwhelmed. She was crying. The baby was surrounded by loved ones and they were all rejoicing. They were laughing, celebrating and even dancing. The joy was infectious. I smiled a little. I could feel God was smiling too.

Then, time sped up. The clock on the wall went wild, oscillating nonstop. The juxtaposition between passing time and the growth of the child was almost comical. As time flew, literally, the baby boy grew up fast. His was a family of enduring love and happiness. It was like watching a wonderful blessing blooming before me in real time. I was deeply inspired. I wished that this could go on forever.

God and I were still walking but somehow the walk appeared to slow down a little.  It slowed down to allow me to see how the boy became a teenager, a young adult and a man and then he got married. I saw the wedding. It was glorious. The crowd of witnesses. The tears in the parents’ faces. The confession of love. The exchange of vows, the heartwarming embrace and the mutual kiss that sealed a lifetime together, forever. For a moment, my heart returned to me. From where it was earlier, it returned. I was quite settled, resolved. I could sense that God was pleased too. I know this because I could sense a warm glow from him. It was a glow that assures you, comforting and empowering even.  

In a glance, the wedding was over. It was the honeymoon now. I guess the lovely couple went on a world tour. I saw images of many places around the world, exotic locations, to-die-for sceneries. They were very happy and very much in love. I was even envious. Then, the scene changed again, just abruptly as before. Alas, I sensed that same ominous feeling creeping in.

This time, I forced myself to look at God’s face. I wanted his response to my premonition. But I couldn’t see anything except darkness, complete immersion in blackness. A shrilling shattered the silence. A phone call and a hello and everything stilled. Dead calm. God was still around. I could sense him. But he was again silent. It was becoming a rather familiar trait of his.  Then, I heard sobbing. It grew louder, louder still. I saw the parents on their bed, hugging each other, crying like a baby. Their faces contorted with sorrow that broke me down too. I cried with them knowing the worst had happened.

I saw the phone hanging by their bed. It was a call from the police reporting about a car-crash. I didn’t need to know anything further. I knew who were the victims. I knew what happened. Apparently a lorry driven by a drunk driver beat the red light and smashed into their car. The lovely couple were dead, instantly. Just like that. They died in a car crash. Their precious young lives shattered in a moment. Their future ended even before it had a chance to start.

I went into another shock, jaw-dropped. I was angry now. I shouted at God. I shook with apoplectic rage. WHY? I yelled. You knew it all along right? I exploded. Surprisingly, God stopped walking. His brisk steps ended, dead at its tracks. He reached out for my hands and held them. I could feel his touch, his hands. It was a firm grip no less. I also felt a strange tingle, a warm quiver.  Then, we vanished, literally. There and then, we were no more. I lost all awareness for a while. The next scene was Calvary. God took me back in time. 2000 years to be exact.

I saw the Cross. I saw a man hung, taunted mercilessly. I saw everything. The bloody nails. The bloody crown of thorns. The bloody back. The bloody Cross. I saw the tears. I saw the pain. I saw the suffering. It was heartbreaking beyond words. I was speechless again. There and then, hung, was my savior. He was the Christ. My helpless redeemer. The tortured messiah. He was also God’s only son. And God turned away. He did nothing. Not a thing. He just walked by. But this was one mind-numbing tragedy I quietly followed him in lockstep. We just walked away.

Strangely, God led me back to the future and we returned to the first tragedy I had witnessed. This time it was different. This time he did not walk away. This time, he intervened. He immobilized the young rapists, rescued the little girl and returned her to her sisters. I was encouraged by the sight. I was thankful to God.

Next, God stood in the middle of the traffic junction. It was a familiar scene to me. He was waiting and I was watching, eagerly. Like clockwork, the lorry came with a mission to perdition. Everything happened so fast. God redirected the lorry, away from harm’s way. He saved the young couple. They didn’t even realize that God had saved them. I have to admit that I was relieved, smiling even. I then held on to God’s hand and squeezed it. I was proud of him.

After that, in a snap of time, we returned to Calvary. I saw Jesus, dying. This time, God did not hesitate. There was no warning. He walked towards the Cross. He drew near to the crowd hollering for his son’s blood. I saw the same resolve when he saved the girl and the young couple. God raised his hands with determination and wanted to end the suffering, the grave travesty. He wanted more than anything to save his own son. But something shook me hard and I shouted at him. I shouted at God. I cried out. WAIT!

Instantly, there was total blackout. Silence returned. I was all alone now. I searched for God. Worried. Then, a distant glow appeared. It was God - I knew that by heart. But he was leaving me. He had to go. I then managed to catch a glimpse of the lover of my soul. I noticed a tear streaming down from his face. The tear met with his reassuring smile.. Before he left, God whispered to me. He said softly, “My son did not die in vain. No one who lives for me dies in vain.” And then I woke up, stunned. Cheerz.

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