I dreamed that I boarded a tour bus, and I sat right up front so I could see everything up close.
First stop was at an enormous shopping mall. There were halls upon halls filled with little specialty stores. Each boutique was unique from the other, and displayed items from a place and time in history. Every place in the world had their own ‘wing’ of shopping stores, and each store represented a different time in its history. Every place and time was covered, from cave man to the future. Anything you desired could be had. All you had to do was ask the store clerk, and they then gave it to you.
The mall was crowded with many different people going in and out of the stores with their packages and purchases, each one smiling and enjoying themselves as they went about their business. But no one seen us or looked at us. It was as if we were invisible to them. They seen the tour guide angels, but they must have sensed that they were not alone, and so they stayed out of their way.
As I watched it all, my mind could hardly grasp all the choices before me. I knew it would take a lifetime to explore all the little stores. And oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to explore them someday with my mother?
Just then, I seen someone walk by me, holding an old book open to their reading page, with a beautiful Celtic bookmark, hand-painted and stamped with gold leaf.
“Oh!” I exclaimed to my tour guide, “I’d like to have one of those!” And just then, someone else walked by from the other direction with a beautiful hair clip holding back her hair. It would be perfect for my friend. “And one of those,” I said. I turned to my guide. “Where is the store that has those?”
The guide told me it was in a different wing of the mall, and that we did not have time to go there on this tour. “Come,” the guide said to me, “we must go.”
“Wait!” I exclaimed, “couldn’t I just go into this store to get the bookmark? It’s right here in front of us.”
But the angel guide nearest to me shook its head no. “It will be delivered to you,” he said, and then we turned and got back into the tour bus.
After driving some distance, we suddenly came upon a valley as big as the Grand Canyon, with a cliff just as steep. The bus lurched out and downwards, and I screamed as I watched the earth come up to me. We tumbled, and then stopped for a moment, to see if everyone was still O.K.
Shaken but unharmed, we continued on into the depths of this valley, till we reached a small settlement of people, camped out by a big red rock. It was dry here, but pleasantly so, with the sun bright overhead, but without the searing heat. There was a light breeze blowing about, which made it a very pleasant day. Perfect picnic weather, I thought.
As I came closer, I could see the people walking about and going on about their business. They had trailer homes, propped up around each other, so they could all be together. Then, as I came close to one of them, one with a white sunshade propped up and out and a picnic table beneath it, my eyes caught a familiar sight and I stumbled.
“Is that my Father?” I whispered to the guide. I doubted it was, even though it looked exactly like him when he was in his twenties, for this man was laughing and smiling, something I had rarely seen my father do. He was talking and listening to the others around him tells him their stories, and him sharing his with them.
“Yes,” the angel answered me, “it is your father. But you must not stare at him, for that would cause him to notice you, and he is not to know right now that you are here.”
Oh! To turn my eyes away from his peaceful smiling face took everything I had in me. But I obeyed the angel, and looked away.
Our bus continued on again, and made it’s way to another grand canyon. When we came to the sharp drop again, I knew then what was in store for us, and I started to pray over and over again, “Oh my God oh my God oh my God!” till suddenly we were riding on the bottom of the canyon again. The angel must have seen the confusion on my face, for it explained to me, “this canyon is easier to access.”
This time, we rode on, till we came to a larger community, all green covered land, and mild temperatures, with little high-rises all around. Each rise, had everything that was needed in its building. The high rise was filled with people; many of them single women, all in the prime of their lives.
Then the tour guide talks to the building manager, and then the manager gives a nod, and leads us to a small room in one of the high rises. I enter and quietly look around.
The place reminded me of a laundry room, with washing machines lined up on one side of the room, while the other side had tables for one to sit upon and sort their laundry. I frowned in confusion, still not understanding. Why bring me here? I knew there must be something special about this room; I just wasn’t catching it.
Then I looked upwards to the wall and seen it.
My Mother’s cross-stitch. My mother’s ceramics. Her art work, up on the walls of the laundry room. I thought, “oh! How sweet of them to let my mother hang her work here!”
I looked closer, and seen there were several different small banners in cross-stitch, that had a date, name, and an emblem on it. Other ceramics that hung on the wall (bird, flower, bunny, dove, etc.,) was inscribed with a person’s name & date. There were several ones there with her name on it, among the other names on the wall. The manager told me the other names were Mom’s friends.
When I understood that, I looked around at the machines and wondered why heaven would even need washing machines. Then the angel stepped in and told me that these washing machines were different than the ones I knew of. These didn’t just clean dirt from clothes; they removed emotional stuff from things and cleaned it of all resentment, anger, bitterness, etc., anything that was un-Christ-like. An item could be put in the washer, and as a blinding white light would swirl in and around it, the person ‘washing their dirty laundry’, would sit at one of the tables and tell God all about their resentment, anger, bitterness, etc., and then leave those emotions with Him. The item associated with the ‘stuff’, then comes out clean and free of all ‘dirt’ and made new again.
My mother’s work, hanging on the walls, commemorated these events. Each piece of work had the person’s first name on it, along with the date. The last item on the banner or artwork was a symbol of what took the place of the ‘stuff’. The ceramics was the symbol itself, and had the person’s name etched into it, along with the date on the back of it.
How ironic! I had thought that God would somehow forcefully remove it (anger, resentment, etc.,) from a person, before letting them go through the gates of heaven. After all, I figured, why would God ever let such dirt into heaven? If He did, then it wouldn’t be heaven then anymore, would it?
But I was wrong. God does let it into heaven. He doesn’t forcefully remove it from the person. Instead, He waits for the person to get tired of the ‘dirt’ first, and then helps them to remove it. The tour guide told me that emotional ‘Dirt’ up in heaven, really stands out. It hinders the person’s joy in heaven, so one is naturally drawn to having it washed. When the spirit of God washes and purifies it, it enables them to let go of the negative emotions, which feels good and gives them more joy. All this takes place as commonly as we do our laundry down here on earth. (And mind you, unlike here, a person’s ‘stuff’ is seen as being quite separate from the people themselves!)
I was sitting on the bench and starring at my Mother’s work that hung upon the walls, when I seen my Mother walk in.
She was young and beautiful again, just like her pictures of when she was a young woman.
I quick looked at the angel again, to see if I could acknowledge her, and the angel nodded a yes.
Mom sat down beside me, and we turned to each other and held each other in our arms.
I was crying, and finding it hard to speak.
“Oh Mom,” I said, in a release of breath, “I’m so glad they’re letting me be with you!”
I wanted to tell her, all about my fears and second-guesses, of asking God to take her home to heaven, instead of having her hang on in pain down here. But in a sudden flash of realization, I sensed it wasn’t necessary, and that Mom fully understood and was glad that I had answered the way I had.
But then I found myself admitting something to her that I had not even voiced to myself down on earth. Something far deeper and uglier.
“Oh Mom,” I cried, still in her arms, “you want to know what’s really awful? If I had known just how hard and painful it would be for me without you, I would have never asked God to bring you to heaven!”
And at this, I cried more, and felt all my shame at this ugly truth revealed. I had expected her to turn away with disgust, once she realized how very self-centered and selfish I really was inside. (To think of keeping her here with me simply for my own comfort, even though it would cause her such pain!)
But she didn’t. She simply held me as I cried, and whispered words of comfort to me. “Sh, there, there, it’s O.K., I understand. It’s O.K.”
I stayed there, in her embrace; till I could feel some of her calm and peace blanket my own soul. I breathed a sigh of relief, as the last sobs racking my body faded away.
Then I looked up, to see her leaving, just like how a mother tiptoes out of her child’s room after finally getting them back to sleep. Only she wasn’t tiptoeing, she was walking, and I wasn’t quite asleep yet.
I was about to ask the angel why she could not stay longer, when the angel told me that she needed to get back to her crafts, for it was time for one of her ceramic pieces to come out of the kiln.
I got up then, and turned to the angel, thinking we would get back on the tour bus, for I was now eager to see more. But the angel let me know that the tour had ended, and with a gentle lift of her hand, I was sent back to earth and then I woke up.
Rev. 21:4-5, KJV “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…”