The month of August turned out to be a stressful one for me. I have some personal issues going on and some challenging situations at work. On top of that, I sprained my back at the beginning of the month and have taken much of the rest of the month to recover. Since exercise is a big stress-reliever for me, the inability to do much has compounded the stress.
Last week there was one night where I didn’t really get any rest. I slept, if you want to call it that, but I was working in my sleep. Have you ever done that? All night long I tossed and turned, making up issues in my dreams to deal with and just wearing myself out more. When the alarm went off that morning, I had no idea how I was going to get out of bed. I hit snooze and laid back down for a few minutes. I fell back asleep immediately.
In that very short span of time I had the most vivid dream: the doorbell rang and I answered it. There was a very tall, familiar man standing there. I knew him immediately and was relieved to see him. He simply asked me, What do you need? Relieved that he wasn’t there to ask anything of me, I choked out words that surprised even me, I need a hug. He didn’t waste a moment. He wrapped his arms around me in a powerful, brotherly embrace and didn’t let go. I felt every muscle in my body relax and soon realized that I wasn’t really holding myself up any more, but he was.
Then the alarm went off again and I was awake, but I had this wonderful feeling still with me. I got up and went about my morning, trying to figure out who that man had been. I knew him, but I couldn’t remember his face. Every face I tried to put to him was wrong. Those of you who have read the book The Shack will understand this better than those who haven’t, but that’s when the thought struck me that it was Jesus. I floated through the rest of that very difficult day, feeling like God had decided to show up on my doorstep that morning and hug me. It’s been a beautiful memory since then.