The Father’s Love Dream

As in anything in our secular and spiritual life we go through difficult times. In the year 1989, at our first church, I was going through one of those rough patches. That summer I had a significant dream where I believe God spoke to me.

(You be the judge).

Pre-amble:

ONE SUMMER JOANNE AND I WENT ON A CAMPING HOLIDAY FEELING REALLY BURNED OUT. AS WE WERE DRIVING TO THE CAMPSITE, I SAID TO MY WIFE THAT I WASN’T SURE ABOUT BEING A PASTOR ANY MORE. I WAS DISILLUSIONED AND FELT THAT GOD WAS FAR AWAY. I WASN’T EVEN SURE IF GOD LOVED ME ANY MORE.  I WAS NOT SURE IF I SHOULD EVEN BE MINISTERING ANY MORE. JOANNE DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING TO ME AT THE TIME.  LATER ON I DISCOVERED THAT SHE WAS SILENTLY PRAYING THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WOULD SPEAK TO ME, EVEN IN A DREAM AS HE PROMISED IN JOEL 2, AND IN THE BOOK OF ACTS WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS BEING POURED OUT.

THAT NIGHT I HAD ONE OF THE MOST VIVID DREAMS I COULD REMEMBER:

IN THIS DREAM I WAS OUT IN A FIELD AT NIGHT WITH A FEW OTHER PEOPLE I DIDN’T RECOGNIZE. I WAS WATCHING THE NIGHT SKY, WHICH WAS CLEAR AND FILLED WITH STARS.

SUDDENLY THE SKY WAS FILLED WITH SHOOTING STARS, OR COMETS. THEY WERE EVERYWHERE FILLING THE SKY. WE WATCHED METEORS THE ENTIRE NIGHT.

(NOW I HAVE TO BREAK IN AT THIS POINT AND SAY, THAT WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I USED TO PLAY THIS SILLY GAME WHERE I WOULD TO SAY TO GOD, “IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME, SHOW ME A SHOOTING STAR!”)

EVEN WHILE I WAS HAVING THE DREAM, I AM REALIZING THE FATHER IS SHOWING ME HIS LOVE. AND SO ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT, THESE SHOOTING STARS FILL THE SKY. BUT THEN SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENS TO THEM. THEY START TO FORM TOGETHER, AND SHAPE THEMSELVES INTO FETUSES. A KIND OF “NEW BIRTH”, OR BORN AGAIN THING. AGAIN EVEN IN MY DREAM I AM THINKING ABOUT THIS NEW CREATION OR RE-CREATIVE THEME.  THE SHOOTING STARS CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT IN MY DREAM UNTIL THE MORNING COMES. IN MY DREAM I AM IN AWE OF WHAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED AND SO LATER ON I AM DRAWN BACK TO THE FIELD. I WALK AROUND THE FIELD SEARCHING, NOT KNOWING FOR CERTAIN WHY.

AS I AM WALKING IN THE FIELD I MEET A MAN.

A FATHERLY SORT. HE LOOKS TO ME THE IMAGE OF A PERFECT FATHER. HE IS BALDING SLIGHTLY. HE HAS A TWEED JACKET WITH THOSE PATCHES ON THE ELBOWS AND WIRE RIMMED GLASSES. BUT WHAT CATCHES MY ATTENTION IS THAT HE IS NOT WEARING ANY SHOES OR SOCKS. IN FACT AS I GET CLOSER TO HIM, I NOTICE, HE HAS HOLES IN HIS FEET AND HIS HANDS.

AS HE APPROACHES ME HE TAKES ME INTO HIS ARMS, AND ASKS ME A FEW QUESTIONS.

AND AS I AM THINKING ABOUT MY RESPONSE, HE STARTS TO SHOW ME MY LIFE IN THE PAST. ALMOST AS IF I AM WATCHING ONE OF THOSE NEWS REELS. PAST EVENTS I COULDN’T EVEN REMEMBER, DOWN TO THE SILLIEST “PETTY” SINS. WHERE I HAD DONE OR SAID SOMETHING WRONG. ONE INSTANCE WAS A TIME I HAD LIED ABOUT MY SISTER AND SHE GOT INTO TROUBLE. I SAID TO THE FATHER, “I DON’T REMEMBER.” BUT HE DID, AND IT WENT ON AND ON. THE FATHER SHOWED ME ALL THIS, AND I STARTED TO WEEP AND CONFESS ALL THE THINGS THAT HE WAS SHOWING ME. TEARS OF REPENTANCE AND CONFESSION. DEEP, DEEP REMORSE OVER THE PAST.

THE MAN WAS TENDER, YET HE WAS FIRM. GRACIOUS AND LOVING, YET TOUGH ,FAIR AND HOLY. WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER, HE DID SOMETHING STRANGE.

HE STOOPED DOWN AND STARTED TO MINISTER TO MY FEET. I AM NOT SURE WHAT HE WAS DOING, BUT SOMEHOW IN MY DREAM I KNEW THAT I WAS TO BE PART OF THE PROCESS. IT WAS SIGNIFICANT. EVEN IN MY DREAM I AM THINKING ABOUT JOHN 13.

SUDDENLY IN MY DREAM I WAS TAKEN TO A MEETING HALL. IT WAS A  MEETING FILLED WITH NAZI WAR CRIMINALS IN GERMANY. ALL TYPES OF PEOPLE. WOMEN, MEN, YOUNG, AND OLD.

I STOOD UP IN THE FRONT AND STARTED TO PREACH AND SHARE WITH THEM ABOUT JESUS.

THEY WERE INSTANTLY TURNED OFF. THEY TURNED AWAY, MADE ANGRY FACES, SOMEONE EVEN POINTED A GUN AT MY HEAD, BUT I STILL PREACHED THE MESSAGE. I SINGLED OUT ONE MAN, WHO I THOUGHT WAS SOMEHOW TOUCHED BY THE MESSAGE. HIS NAME WAS OTTO, OR ORSEN, OR SOMETHING, I AM NOT SURE. AND I PREACHED EVEN MORE ENTHUSIASTICALLY AT HIM. HE WAS IN TURMOIL, BUT SOMETHING WAS HAPPENING TO HIS HEART. I CHASED HIM AROUND. THE OTHER PEOPLE CAME TO ME AND STARTED TO SHOW ME PICTURES OF HIS PAST.

TERRIBLE THINGS, TERRIBLE IMAGES OF HIS SIN. PREJUDICE AND HATRED AND VIOLENT IMAGES. I SAID TO THEM, “IT DOESN’T MATTER, COME TO THE FATHER IN THE FIELD.”

I WEPT BITTERLY FOR OTTO IN COMPASSION AND PAIN. I WAS IN AGONY BECAUSE I WANTED HIM TO MEET THE FATHER. SUDDENLY HE DID COME! AND I BROUGHT OTTO TO THE MAN IN THE FIELD. WE STOOD IN LINE AS OTHER PAIRS WERE BEING BROUGHT TO THE FATHER.

WHEN IT WAS OTTO’S TURN I WAS ABLE TO SEE HIS “NEWSREEL” OF HIS PAST. I WATCHED AS THE FATHER SHOWED HIM HIS LIFE. NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS, ABUSE, TORTURE AND HATRED WERE ALL EXPOSED TO OTTO BY THE FATHER. TO MY AMAZEMENT OTTO RESPONDED IN REPENTANCE AND HEARTFELT SORROW OVER HIS SIN. AND TO MY AMAZEMENT THE FATHER EXTENDED FORGIVENESS AND GRACE. I UNDERSTOOD MY TASK, I WAS TO BRING PEOPLE TO THE FATHER’S LOVE AND HE WOULD SHOW THEM THEIR SIN.

“IT IS HIS MERCY THAT LEADS TO REPENTANCE.” ROMANS 2:4

THEN I WOKE UP.

I REALLY BELIEVE THAT GOD IS CALLING THE CHURCH TO BE DILIGENT IN PROCLAIMING A MESSAGE OF COMPASSION, MERCY AND TRANSFORMATION TO THE LOST AND THE BROKEN. IT IS MY HEARTFELT PRAYER THAT THE CHURCH WILL RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE.

EVER SINCE THIS DREAM IN 1989 IT HAS BEEN MY MAIN THEME IN TEACHING AND PREACHING. IT IS ALL ABOUT GRACE.

Pastor Paul

Comments

  1. On October 16th of last year you told us to pray;
    “Lord, break my heart with the things that break Your heart.”
    You warned us to be prepared that the answer to this prayer, as it may be more than you expected, or were able to handle, or to respond to. You were right.
    I thank God that in your dream, and in your life, you asked this prayer, and you responded to it with your dedication to glorify Christ in your life and your work, and to bring His compassion, mercy and grace to the lives of others.
    Dear Lord,
    Thank you for your faithful servant, Paul, my pastor, my brother, and my friend. Please protect and strengthen him, and shower him with more grace, and more dreams of visions and prophesy that reveal your transforming grace to all of us, all to the glory of Christ Jesus, our Redeemer and Saviour.
    Amen

  2. Marc Charbonneau says:

    I must say that I was moved and had no idea obviously at the time what was going on…amazing.I am extremely proud of you my brother and have always been. Marc C.

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