I’m sitting in a six-lane intersection close to home, my Subaru station wagon idling at the stoplight.
A white moving van pulls up in the turning lane to my left. A white panel truck pulls up on my right. We wait for the light to change.
My vision is totally obscured by the two trucks, one on each side of me. The light clicks to green. The trucks don’t move. Are they texting or something? I think to myself.
I step on the gas. My car accelerates into the intersection just in time to meet a careening green and white garbage truck, running the red light. The massive truck smashes into the driver’s side of my car, atomizing glass, crushing my body with a sickening crash. I am killed instantly.
I wake up from the dream.
It’s the middle of a warm night in June 2011. My bedroom is dark, my heart pounds. The atmosphere in the whole room feels heavy like a spiritual weight is pressing down on me. My wife, Elaine, wakes up instantly feeling that something significant has happened. “What was that?” she asks. Still disturbed, I tell her the dream. We earnestly pray together.
Lying there in the dark, we both have the overwhelming feeling that the dream means something, something from God far too important to ignore. Somehow, we just know it.
For the next several weeks we prayed for him to tell us what to do, how to understand it. We were unnerved. We were inquisitive. But the interpretation didn’t come. I didn’t get it. So, as the days went by, as usual, we moved on as usual too.
But “usual” didn’t last.
About three weeks later, I pull up to a six-lane intersection. The light is red and a white moving van pulls up to my left. A white panel truck comes up on my right. I can’t see past them.
I’ve been here before. My mind begins to tremble. Now I get it.
The light changes, from blood-red to green. The trucks stay put. I don’t move. I start to count the seconds. One thousand one. One thousand two. One thousand three. One thousand four—the careening green and white garbage truck from my left runs the red light, rockets through the intersection with the sound of screeching metal.
I step on the gas and move through the intersection, then immediately pull over. I am nauseous, shaking. In my soul, God speaks to me: “I could bring you back home anytime. I want you to get serious about telling your story.”
This text comes directly from the manuscript which became the first story in the book, Life After Heaven. This was a motor vehicle accident which, by God’s grace and intervention, never occurred.
This story makes me wonder just how many close calls we all have had and never knew it. Just how close is the Kingdom of Heaven? Is it possible we are in fact immersed in it and simply don’t recognize our surroundings?
I was already decompressing. I sent my final message to Elaine, then shut down my phone. I told her to read the note I left on my pillow as I quietly left earlier that morning. Each year, when c...