"A Dream" -Michael Boldea Jr. [ http://www.handofhelp.com/sheisthe.htm ] It had been the most trying two weeks of my life. While still in Romania, I woke up one morning to the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. All my joints ached, my feet were swollen, and I could barely move. The weather had changed, and it seems that as my grandfather I am prone to arthritis. On my way back to the States, on September 9, while awaiting a connection at London Heathrow airport, my laptop was stolen. [This contained information for sponsors of needy Romanian children -ed.] Finally having arrived in the US, while driving from the airport Geno filled me in on what had been happening in the States. He told me of the openly gay bishop that had been ordained by the Episcopalian church, and then of the battle over the Ten Commandments in Alabama, and by the time we reached Watertown I was disheartened. It had been a long two days, and all I wanted to do was take a shower, and get some sleep. I had been asleep less than half an hour when I had a dream. I was in a hospital room; it was very clean, and freshly painted. In the room there was a bed with a woman in it. I approached the bed, and took a closer look at the woman. She was dressed in a gray robe, and she had a ring on every finger of her hand. From time to time, she would raise her hand, look at her fingers, and smile. For some reason, that smile was the saddest thing I've ever seen. It was crooked, and it exhibited no real joy. As I looked at her the sadness in my heart grew to such intensity that it woke me up. Even awake I could still feel the sadness, and as much as I tried I couldn't get back to sleep. For six days in a row I had the same exact dream, I would see the woman lying in bed, I would be overwhelmed by sadness, then I would wake up. I was so frustrated, not knowing what this meant that on the seventh day I decided to fast. That night as I went to sleep the dream started again, the same as before. I looked at the woman, she smiled, the sadness overwhelmed me, but I didn't wake up. The door to the room opened and a man dressed in a white smock walked in holding a clipboard. Before he could say anything I began asking a barrage of questions. "Who are you? Why am I here? Who is she? Why have I been dreaming this for almost a week?" "Because you waited almost a week to fast," he said. He must have noticed the stunned expression on my face, because his eyebrows arched upward. "I am a friend," he continued, "I was sent with a message, be at peace servant, all will be revealed in due time." "How do I know you're a friend?" I asked. "Because, Jesus is Lord", he answered. Then he smiled, and I recognized him. I had seen that smile before. Suddenly I was eight years old again, sleeping in the top bunk of the bed I shared with my grandparents, on a cold winter night in Romania. I will remember that night for as long as I live. I had woken up to go to the restroom, but before I could get out of bed I heard talking below me. My grandfather was talking to someone, I went to peer over the edge, to see who it was, and found myself face to face with this same man. He'd smiled at me, and I'd instantly gone back to sleep. "I know you don't I?" "Yes we've met once before, but I see you often," he answered. "Why am I here?" I asked. "Because you murmur, because you have said in your heart that you are on a fool's quest, because you think no one hears, that the message is falling on deaf ears. It is not for you to judge the success the message has in the hearts of others, you were called to be a servant, serve. I was sent to rekindle the fire of compassion in your heart. Compassion for the wayward and the lost, compassion for her," he said pointing to the woman in the bed. "Who is she?" "She is the church," he answered me. "Content only with the things of this earth, absent of spiritual strength. She is the reason you and others like you were called to forfeit your lives. The sadness you feel when you behold her is nothing compared to the sadness the Father feels for her condition. If she is to stand in the fire, if she is to be victorious she must be strengthened. She has been in this condition of spiritual paralysis for so long, she believes this is her natural state. If only she knew the power she has access to, if only she knew obedience. The wolves have gathered unhindered, and soon they will strike at her with violence. What will she do if she is unable to defend herself? What will become of the house of God?" "Be faithful, for faithfulness is rewarded. Why do you say in your heart, that God should make it easier, that He should ease your trials, would you rather that pride find its way into your heart when the Father endows you with the gift He has promised? Keep humility as your constant companion, for the humble receive an abundance of grace. Remember if just one soul is spared from the eternal flame, if just one soul is reached and brought to salvation, it is worth a lifetime's labor and sacrifice. One day you will know the number, receive your reward, and be astonished. I must leave now, but whether in the waking hours, or in dream, we will meet again." The man walked to the bed, looked down at the woman, smiled a sad smile and walked out. As soon as he walked out of the room, and I was alone with her, the sadness began to invade my heart, and I woke up. The reason I share this with you is to ask for your prayers. It is a difficult thing to go to church after church, night after night, and speak a message of repentance that to the hearts of many has become a foreign concept. The knowledge that if just one heart is reached, if one returns to the narrow path of faith, it was worth it and gives us purpose and new strength. May the light of God shine brightly in your hearts, and may you exhibit Christ wherever you are. Revelation 3:19, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." With love in Christ, -Michael Boldea Jr.