Karlene Jacobsen has spent years dreaming of a fictional world with her husband and four children as her greatest cheerleaders. When not involved in her fictional world, she studies English/Communications at Grand Canyon University (distance/online), volunteers at church, reviews books and films, contributes to Jewels of Encouragement www.jewelsofencouragement.com (devotions), enjoys her membership with Faith Writers and ACFW and actively participates in her critique group, led by Literary Agent Linda Glaz while working on her first novel. In the midst of this, she makes her online home Dancin’ in the Rain… (www.anna-karlene-jeffrey.blogspot.com) a place where anyone can find encouragement.
A thunderclap jolted me from sleep. Pulling the blankets closer to my chin, I listened, hoping the storm would blow over. Another roll of thunder grew in intensity, as a line of drummers, building to the final cymbal clash. Glancing out the window, I could see no sign of a storm as the stars sparkled against the blue-black sky. I fumbled for my flashlight and shuffled down the hallway toward the kitchen, anger simmering as I thought maybe one of the kids was playing their music too loud again. Don’t they have any consideration for others who might be trying to sleep?
Halfway through the family room I noticed light streaming from beneath the closet door. I haven’t been able to open it since moving into this old house. Curious, I walked over and tugged on the handle and was surprised when it opened with little effort. A light so fierce radiated from somewhere deep within and pierced through my soul. I shielded my eye as best I could, fearing the intensity of the light. Its magnetic force drew me deep into the closet.
Mixed with the booms of thunder, I heard a voice, “Look up.”
Compelled to obey, I held my hand as a shield above my eyes and squinted into the light. Its brilliance remained, although less fierce. At last, I could see the source—a golden throne, pulsing with its radiance.
A man stood before me. His eyes, gentle, crinkling in the corners, showed his readiness for a good laugh. He reached out his hand for me to take.
“Where am I?” I could barely find my voice.
The corners of His eyes turned up with His mouth as He broke into a broad smile. With a voice akin to waves of the ocean lapping onto shore, “Come, I’ll show you.”
In the next instant, we were side by side, overlooking what appeared to be Earth, but it was flat like a world map, yet alive—breathing, and three-dimensional. Continents complete with landforms, buildings, people of every nationality, and every animal ever created moved about.
Every sense came alive—electric. I tried to articulate my wonder at the beauty laid before me, but words couldn’t express its magnificence. I turned to Him; His gaze locked with mine. “I want you to see what I see.” My knees weakened. I could swim in the sound of His voice forever.
Reaching out, He caught me and held tight. “Look again. See My kingdom.”
Strength regained, I turned my attention toward the earth. Those people I had seen before were now wearing robes, some in white—appearing as fireflies—and others in darkness.
I pointed at them. “Who are they?”
“The ones dressed in darkness belong to the king of the world. They haven’t yet learned of My love. The others are citizens of My kingdom.”
“Why are they lit up like that?” The sight intrigued me.
“I AM the light of the world. My Spirit lives within them.” He spoke as a doting Father.
“They’re carrying swords?”
“Yes, that is My Word.”
Then a troublesome scene caught my attention. “Why are they striking each other with their swords? They’ve also built walls, blocking one another from communication.”
“Yes, My Father and I have been discussing them. They do not yet know the truth of Paul’s exhortations. One day they will turn their swords on the one who divides them.”
“I don’t understand. Why are they divided? If they are citizens of Your kingdom, shouldn’t they work together?”
He chuckled. “Do your children always agree? Do they always get along?”
“Hardly.” I laughed, though the sad truth bothered me. My children were so different in personalities, they clashed all the time. It got wearisome trying to stop their quarrels.
“It’s the same for them. They don’t realize I’ve given them their unique personalities to complement one another. They have jobs specifically designed for their personalities.”
Understanding began to spring forth in my heart. “So, they all have pieces of Your truth?”
“Yes, My Father has so many facets to His personality, it would be humanly impossible for any one of them to grasp Him as a whole. It would be like assembling a three-dimensional puzzle without being able to see the other side.”
“So we must rely on one another to help us with the side we’re unable to reach?”
“You’re beginning to see.” His eyes sparkled. “Take this truth with you, and remember faith, hope, and the greatest—love.”
I woke with a start to something crashing in the kitchen. Scrunching my face against the blinding light attacking my senses, I coaxed my body to sit up. After sliding my feet into slippers, I shuffled down the hall to find my family trying to cook breakfast.
“Good morning, Honey, you’re up!” My husband grinned, wrapping his big hairy arms around me.
Looking up into his bearded face, I smiled sleepily, “You’ll never guess where I was last night.”