Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Terrifying Beauty (A call to all would-be-Daniels and would-be-Joshephs)

We were, apparently, visiting my brother in Waco. We were on the Baylor Campus after receiving a long tour on a hot day. I do not recall the temperature, but I remember my Father wearing shorts and a brown and black striped athletic T-shirt. And his face was glistening. The 'we' included me and my wife, my family, but not my two youngest brothers or oldest sister and her husband. But to include who isn't there is probably more work than to include who is, however, the significance of absences in this story - while I believe significant - I have yet to make out. So there was my Father and Mother, my sister rebecca and her boyfriend James, my brother Dave and his friends who I can't put names to since I've never met them. Oh, and again, my wife and I.

We seemed to be in a parking lot, but that is impossible, for we ended up on the roof of one of the academic buildings without having moved. The tour guide or maybe it was Dave - yes, it was Dave - suggested we go for a walk around campus if we were not tired. I remember lamely joking I would go, on the condition I was carried or driven. The remark initiated the obligatory half-hearted laughs. My Dad put his glistening head, with the shades on top - it must have been a scorcher - against the wall. Than things got wierd.

I don't recall who had suggested it, but the possibility of rain was on our minds. Actually, the tour guide had prefaced his comment about a walk with something about "beating the rain" or "before it comes down" Whatever the case, rain was on our minds. The sky grew dark, but not unnaturally so. There was nothing to indicate this was more than just a passing storm. As the winds picked up we stood on the roof and the details of this roof, formerly ignored, were of a sudden fascinating. The railing was made of rounded columns supporting the heavy stone rail. This encompassed the rooftop which was tiled in square slabs of grey marble. The whole situation was somewhat classical. What struck me as even more disturbing was that the tourguide and Dave's friends were now gone and it was just our family. Yet I don't know if I made the last observation at that moment or now, in hindsight.

The clouds started to move our way, but with a rapidity I found to be not impossible but oddly unnatural. It was as if someone had put the clouds on Fast forward, but nothing else. The clouds, these dark storm clouds, were racing right above our heads and we must have been speechless because no one utters anything. The clouds slow down, or at least they must have with what happens next. It seems that whoever pressed the Fast forward also had a slow motion, and the clouds began to transform into precipitation right before our eyes. Dark masses of clouds, now close enough to touch if one dared, became as a liquid. Yet it wasn't liquid they were becoming. Their consistencies remained the same, just their shape and flow was different. It was almost as if, now that I think of it, the natural darknesss of the storm was being poured out upon the earth, not renewing the dry land, but clutching it in an ironic and cruel hug before it died.

I remember Rebecca spoke at this time, she said "It's Armageddon." I've never taken those jokes lightly at any thunderstorm, and when she said it, I started to think about things one thinks about when they hear it. Should I be happy or scared? And I know I should be happy, but the thought that this is it, time is out, the game is up, are frightening. But no sooner had she said it and these fleeting thoughts gone through my head then I dismissed the idea as rubbish. But unlike the other 1000 storms that were followed by other days, this one, at least I believe, would not.

Of a sudden there was a flash like lightening, but more intense. I could see my own face lit up and the look on my face was one of fear masked by skepticism. This is merely lightning I was thinking, but out of the corner of my eye the "lightening" continued to glow and radiate waves of intense light. Now the light was not cruel like white light, but a warm bronze light that made you shudder by its unnaturality yet warm you up.

What I saw next will never leave me. Descending from the clouds was a column of light that issued forth twisters and duststorms at its base. Cloud and Fire spiralled up and down this column and at the very top there was a cloud descending. I knew what this was .

The moment seemed unreal, and as it turned out, it was unreal. I remember wondering why we were not immediately swept up into our respective eternities, but that is not human. I had time to think, I had time to talk with my loved ones. Obviously we all gaped at the terror and the beauty of God's majesty. I remember looking around and saying 'hallelujah' but it scared me how artificial it felt. I think any words in such a presence fall dumb, but it was disheartening to feel so absolutely weak at such a time. But maybe that's the point. That is our story. We are weak.

I woke up and didn't know what to do. This is the second dream I've had concerning End Times and each one is suprisingly disturbing. But what is an appropriate response to such a dream? Crying? Fear? Joy? All three? It has really been an odd morning as I recall my dream (which i wanted to do right away since dreams are often quickly forgotten). So if anyone who reads this has any insight into the meaning of such dreams. Shoot.