Down To The Water’s Edge

Another memorable dream….
I was a young girl,
thirteen almost fourteen years old,
At home with my brothers,
One who was around five,
And the other one
Was still an infant.

Our parents were away
For a day or so,
(maybe longer?,)
On a business trip
Of some kind.

We did o.k. by ourselves,
And were used to
These short, periodical times
When they would leave
And come back a few days later
(At the most,)
And then envelope us
in their strong love for us.

I walked out
Into our back yard,
And down to the lake
That bordered it.

A thick cement wall
Had been built years ago
Between the lake & the houses
That banked up to it,
To serve as a protection
Against any rising waters
That may happen
In the future.
Over the years,
The water in the lake
had slowly risen
and was now held back
all the time, by the wall.

I stood next to the wall,
Looking over the lake,
Now quiet and peaceful,
With barely a ripple
Upon its smooth surface.
Willow branches,
Green with their foliage, 
Leaned over the water,
Casting its color
Into the water.

I often loved
To come here,
Down to the water’s edge.
It was such a peaceful place
To rest and think.

 This time,
I could see that the water was up
Almost to the edge of the wall.
It had come up to this height
Once or twice before,
But never as high
As I noticed it was now.
The amount of water surprised me,
For the storm that had just passed through
A few hours before,
Had reportedly not dumped
that much water onto the land.
Where was it coming from?
What would happen to us
If it rose so high
That it overflowed?

I remembered well
What happened
To the city of New Orleans,
And how their wall
Was breeched by the lake waters
Right after a big storm.
What would we do
If that happened here?
We would have to grab
What we could,
And get ourselves
To higher ground.

As these thoughts
Went through my mind,
My eyes watched the water line
Creep upwards ever so slowly,
Like a big plastic pool 
being filled up with water
from the garden hose.
Its movement was undetectable
By just looking at it;
One had to stare at it,
To see its upward flow.
It was now almost
To the top of the wall.
Would it choose to overflow now,
When my parents were away?

As I pushed the thought away,
I watched the water
Crest and flow over the wall,
Slowly at first, but quickly gaining
in momentum, volume, and strength.

I turned and ran back to the house,
Yelling out to my brother
That the water had breeched the levy,
And that he had to grab what he could
For we would have to run to safety,
Onto higher ground.

I wrenched open the back door,
Ran to the room
Where my baby brother lay
Still sleeping in his crib,
Grabbed his bedding, diaper bag,
Formula, and teddy,
And ran back out into the hallway
Where my other brother
Had gathered up some food,
Blankets, and a small survival kit,
And dumped them all
Into a big canvas bag.

We could hear our horse outside
Still locked up in his little barn,
Neighing with excitement and fear,
 As he tried to break free
From his holding.

I ran outside as fast as I could
to where he was,
quickly unleashed his tethers,
and threw a saddle upon him.
I didn’t even have the time
To secure it upon his back,
For the water had now risen
To just a few feet from us.

I jumped up upon the horse,
whispered the usual comforts
Into his flickering ears,
And spurred him back to the house.

My other brother
Had gathered together
All he could,
And now stood there
At the foot of the driveway,
Three bags of stuff,
And our baby brother
Snug in his carry cradle,
All sitting in his favorite
Red rider wagon.
He had hooked up
A harness of sorts
To the wagon,
And while I reached down
To grab my baby brother,
He secured the wagon
To the horse with strong rope.
I then reached down to him
With my one free hand,
And together we hoisted him up
To sit right behind me.

We turned to look back
At the house,
Hoping to see that the water
Had stopped rising,
And that we would
not have to leave.
But instead,
Our house was now surrounded
By the rising waters,
And was steadily advancing
To where we stood.

So with a breath of goodbye
To the house we grew up in,
We boldly moved forward,
Praying that God
would protect and lead us
with His Holy Spirit,
into His safety
and onto higher ground. 

We traveled for many days,
As the land behind us
Was swallowed up
By the rising waters.
We tried to warn others
But they would laugh at us.
When the water rushed in,
We would turn our eyes
Away from them,
For we refused
to watch them die.
(We knew we could do nothing
To help them, once the water
Began to swallow them up.)

The government
Would set up road blocks
Refusing to let people pass.
They rounded them up instead,
And sent them away from here.
We did not want
To go with them,
For we knew
That they were not to be trusted,
And would insist
On splitting us up.
They also believed
That I was too young
To care for a baby,
So we knew they
Would take our baby brother
From us, and we would never
see him again.
(We knew we had just lost
Our parents;
Loosing each other
Would be too much for us to take.)

We stumbled upon
One of these road blocks,
And in an effort to escape
From them, we turned
And went into a thick forest,
Making our way through it,
Till we came upon
A shallow dirt road.

We followed this road
For a short while,
Till we came to a coach
Being pulled by a team of horses.

Their owner cursed us
And warned us off his land,
Saying that he did not want
Any government overflow
To come upon his land.

“We’re trying to escape
From the arms of the government;
This is why we have stumbled
Upon your land!”

The older man
Made no move or sound,
So I tried another tactic.

“Please sir, I have
my little brother with me,
and an infant to care for
as well. Please, could we
seek shelter on your land,
till the government
passes by?”

At this, the old man frowned.
“Where are your parents?
They should be with you,
And caring for the baby!”

“Our parents
Are no longer with us, sir.
It is just me and my two brothers.”

I watched the mans face
As his eyes narrowed.
“Just how old are you, girl?”

When I told him,
He harrumphed,
And gruffly told us
To follow him.

He led us to his home,
Where others spilled out
To see us.

The family was large,
Made up of extended family,
And several children.
They believed it was best
To live off the land
And have nothing to do
With others, outside of their family.

We stayed there,
For several days.
The old man’s wife
Seemed to take to us
And we found ourselves
Soon included
Into their family.

When I figured
The government
Had passed,
I went to pack up our stuff,
But the mom and dad
Encouraged us to stay.

“What do you have
To go to?” the old man asked me.
“Why could you not stay here
With us? Come,” he said.
“Stay at least for a while longer…”

Well, we stayed with them,
For several years.

The closer I was
To becoming eighteen,
The more I sensed from my Lord,
That we should move on.

Then one day,
I had a dream
Where the Lord told me
That this area where we were now,
Would soon be destroyed
By the rising flood waters,
Just as our home was.

I tried to warn
The mom and the old man,
But they scoffed at the thought
That there really was such a thing
As a God. That would give
Such an important message
To someone as young as I.

“You don’t need to come up
With an excuse to leave you know,”
The mother snapped at me.
“Just leave.”

So me and my older brother
Gathered up all our stuff,
And I had snuggled my little brother
(now about five years old or so,)
Onto the little red wagon,
Into all the blankets and pillows,
So he would be comfortable
During our trip.

We took off,
And was not too far down the lane,
When a cry arose up behind us,
And they came chasing after us.

The mom and dad then accused me,
Of kidnapping their new baby.

I assured them that we did not,
But they soon found their baby
Nestled in amongst the blankets
That I had placed my own baby brother in
Just a short while ago.

I panicked, and began
To search for my baby brother,
But soon found him,
Hiding away in their baby’s crib.

He told us then,
That he had switched
Himself with their baby,
Cause he did not want
To go with us.
He wanted to stay with them instead.

I cried then, for I was shaken up
From the thought, that I almost took
The wrong child along with us,
And that may have been
Against the will of my God.

My crying, appeased
the mom and dad somewhat,
and so they then once again,
offered for us to stay with them.

We refused, reminding them again,
Of my dream. WE then asked them
To come with us,
But they refused my offer
With haughty distain.

When we tried to leave again,
Our little brother put up
a big temper tantrum,
and insisted that he stay
with them.

He told us then,
That we weren’t his
brother and sister anymore,
“these are my brothers and sisters,”
He said, pointing to all
the other children around him.
“And this is my mom and dad,” he said,
Pointing to the old man and his wife.

No matter what we said,
He refused to go with us. 

Both our hearts ached then,
For we realized that there was no way
To keep him with us
When he really didn’t want to,
And to leave him behind,
Meant that he would die
Along with all the others.

So with VERY sad hearts,
We turned and left.

A few days later,
As we made our way
Along the ridge
Of the mountain top,
We looked down
Into the valley
Where their house lay,
And watched
As the waters rushed in
And ripped their house
Off its foundation,
And crushed it down
into broken bits of board.

With our hearts breaking,
We realized, that there were
no survivors.

We cried
For the loss of our own brother,
And even for the loss
Of the others.

We then, slowly and sadly,
continued on our way.
I then woke up.

*  *  *  *

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2 comments on “Down To The Water’s Edge

  1. The scene where your brother wants to stay with that family instead of with you reminded me of this verse: “Who is my mother, my brother and my sister, but those who do the will of my Father in Heaven.” We are not here to beat a dead horse. If people don’t want to follow the Lord, if they reject your warnings and testimony, then shake the dust off of your shoes and move on.

    Back in 1990, I gave a testimony at this First Assembly of God in Ames, Iowa. I told the congregation that the Lord had cast hundreds of demons out of my body. It was rejected by the pastor. Right at that moment, the Lord told me to take the shoes off my feet, shake the dust off my shoes and walk out of that church. But I didn’t. I went to church for the next couple of Sundays, until I realized that I was in sin just by being in that church. I never went back.

    Christian pilgrims are always wandering because they are always being rejected by most church people.

  2. What made you realize that you were in sin just by still being in that church?

    I have to admit, it would have been interesting, had you actually taken your shoes off in front of the pastor and his congregation, shook off the dust on them, put them back on, and then walked out. Most pastors I’ve encountered so far in my life, were very territorial, full of pride, and self-righteous. It fills my heart with joy when I find one that is not.

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