The Word of God says that young men have visions and old men have dreams. I was a young girl when I had a vision from God. I was 13 years old when it happened and it hasn’t happened again since that hot July day in 1976. I’m getting old, but not one detail of that vision has ever left me. It was profound and life altering, yet as a young girl I didn’t know what it meant or recognize what a significance it would prove to be in my life and others. I pondered it for a while and eventually I just got on with life, and though I put it aside, it never went away. For the past five years, this vision has been in my thoughts constantly, pressing me to write it down and share it with the world. The Holy Spirit won’t leave me alone about it; I have to do it. I can’t sleep at night for thinking about it; I feel like a grape in a wine press. The need to do this is pressing and oppressive and urgent.
I find it ironic that I grew up in the middle of the Bible belt, yet I had not been to church more than two or three times in my life and that was limited to Sunday school when I was a much younger girl. I had no idea of the symbolism or what these strange things that I would see would mean to me or anyone else. Church, God and the Bible were not a part of my family or our lives. My Mom was taken to church as a child and baptized as were all good Southern Baptist in her day. I don’t recall that she ever went to church as an adult, nor do I ever recall seeing a Bible in our home.
I do remember the plaque with praying hands in the den that hung there for many years as it did in many southern homes. We were never taught how to pray or worship or praise God and as an adult, this is something that I am just now learning. I do have to add that when my sisters and I were very young, I remember Mamma teaching us how to say our prayers at night. You know, “Now I lay me down to sleep…” Oh, yes, then there was the print over my bed, the one with the little boy and girl crossing a broken and crumbling bridge, and a beautiful guardian angel in a pink dress was helping them safely across. That was the extent of my Biblical teaching.
I remember that right before I had this vision, I was fond of telling everyone that I was an atheist. Never mind that I really didn’t know what that meant, let alone the ramifications of what I was saying. I think I was doing it for the shock value, like all teenagers in the 70’s.
Nothing that I learned in our home prepared me for what God would show me. I remember that right before I had this vision, I was fond of telling everyone that I was an atheist. Never mind that I really didn’t know what that meant, let alone the ramifications of what I was saying. I think I was doing it for the shock value, like all teenagers in the 70’s. But God heard me loud and clear and saw past my smart mouth. He knew the disobedient path that my life would take and he knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I guess he figured I needed a visual aid to bring me back to him. It only took me 30 years or so, but I am home now.
My family had finished Sunday dinner, which is lunch to those who aren’t from the south. Everyone decided to go down to the river for a swim and fishing. But, for some reason, I did not want to go. I felt tired and I just wanted to lay down for a nap, so my Mamma allowed me to stay home alone for the first time ever. It was like any other dry, sultry, boring day in mid-July in South Georgia. We lived out in the country in the middle of dusty plowed fields, dirt roads and woods. Everything looked kind of brown and crispy, like it needed rain bad. The corn field across the road in front of the house was starting to turn brown and die.
As soon as everyone left, I went to my bedroom, which faced out the front side of the house and looked out onto our front yard, which had a semi-circular dirt driveway and beside the left entrance was an old dogwood tree which had to be at least a hundred years old. Highway 341 ran from east to west in front of our house, which faced north, and the cornfield I spoke of earlier was on the other side of the highway. There was a slight rise in the middle of this field and you could not see the trees on the other side, so it looked like an ocean of corn that went off into the horizon.
As I lay across my bed looking out the window, contemplating what I saw before me, I began to hear music in the distance. I specifically heard it in my right ear and the direction from which it came made me think of the high school band which practiced several miles southeast from where I lived. When conditions were right we could hear the band playing, but usually only heard the faint beat of drums. This sounded like trumpets and as I was thinking this to myself,