Have you ever had a dream so vivid and so real that it had scents and sights and sounds? Colors and textures and even the kiss of sunshine and a soft breeze blowing on your face? Have you ever had a dream so real you find yourself wondering if maybe it’s really a memory? I had a dream like that Sunday morning.
Despite the fresh breeze and the wonderful pine-scented air, the crunch of dry grass beneath my feet and the smoky smell of fall in the air, I know I was only dreaming. The colors were vivid. The golden, orange, and brown leaves on the maple trees were gorgeous. The hill I climbed was steep and I was breathing hard. The air was cool and clean and crisp. I turned and enjoyed a panoramic view of the countryside. I was alone.
My eyes traced the path I had walked along the river, across the wide, winding meadow and up the hill to the base of the trees. That’s when I noticed the woman not ten feet from me. I was too startled to speak. How could I have not seen her approaching? And why was she dressed so inapproriately?
Her hair was like sunshine, golden with brilliant glints of red and it cascaded past her shoulders. Her eyes were as blue as the sky. It was her dress that caught my attention though. Radiant and white it shimmered around her like no cloth I had ever seen. She came up to me with a smile on her face and knelt by my side. That’s when I realized I was lying down. She put her hands on my shoulders and helped me up.
Neither of us spoke as we turned to walk up the hill together. My steps felt lighter than air. I looked down and saw my body below me on the ground. I stopped and looked at the woman beside me. Only then did I notice her wings.
We stood side-by-side, this angel and I, several feet above the ground. Still I didn’t speak, but I turned back toward my body. The angel held my arm. “Come,” she said. “Jesus is waiting.”
I wanted to go with her, but I couldn’t leave my body. “I can’t be dead. Charley will be upset.”
“He isn’t your problem anymore,” the angel said.
“But I love him,” I told her. “I can’t stand the thought of his pain.”
Again the angel said, “Jesus is waiting.”
I started to go with her, then stopped again. “I want to see Jesus,” I said. “But I am not ready to be dead yet.”
And suddenly I was sitting in my bed. I could still smell the meadow and feel the sunshine on my face — as real as a memory. But it can’t be a memory because if it were, I would be dead, wouldn’t I?