Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: One Twilight's Dream
By Edy T Johnson
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The two families had been friends as well as neighbors. Their children had grown, playing together. Then, Elowyn’s mother left the church and joined that group. All Mina could think was how dreadfully Hattie had been deluded. The two mothers continued to talk over the backyard fence, but now Hattie projected a new hostility in her voice.
“Jesus’ death on the cross means that much,” she snapped her fingers, “to my salvation!” Mina was struck speechless by her friend’s remark. “And, don’t you dare talk to my children, anymore, about your religion!”
Mina’s daughter, Ruth, and Hattie’s Elowyn graduated high school together and then enrolled that summer in the local teachers’ training program. At the ceremony that gave them their teaching certificates, Ruth commented to her mother that Elowyn was so thin that she could see the beating of her heart against her blouse. Elowyn didn’t have a chance to make use of her credentials to teach. Over the winter, her mother refused to have her see a doctor, or anyone else. True to her new religion, Hattie denied the existence of sickness. When someone asked about her daughter, Hattie always reported that she was just fine.
Then came spring, and the days grew longer. Elowyn’s father intervened, over Hattie’s objections, and called in a doctor. But, the tuberculosis by this time was too far advanced. He could do little for her.
Mina worked in her garden, praying constantly for the family next door. She was in anguish over the prohibition against speaking to Hattie’s precious children. One day she had an idea. Didn’t it say in Scripture that miracles occurred when handkerchiefs or aprons from Saint Paul were brought to the sick? She picked a bouquet of early blooming flowers, praying while she clipped the stems. Then, she called Ruth.
“Take these to Elowyn. I’m not allowed to speak to her, but I’ve prayed over these flowers....” Ruth made the delivery, but returned home, shaken by what she had seen, and done. Elowyn rested on a couch in front of a sunny window. When she raised her arm to wave, Ruth maintained she could see through that arm. And, to her own shame and horror, Ruth screamed and fled the house. This beautiful dying girl was so emaciated that she was little more than a skeleton. They heard later that she clung to that bouquet until her dying breath.
Now, Mina lay looking at the ceiling, tears running down onto her pillow. “I should have gone! No matter what Hattie said, I should have gone to talk to Elowyn!”
A moment later, it seemed, she woke with a start. “Such a dream, I’ve never had!” she recalled, telling how she had seen Elowyn standing in the twilight at the foot of her bed. Her dress radiated whiteness, and she was beautifully healthy. Not only that, she was singing! What was that song? Mina had never heard it before. She sprang from her bed and ran downstairs. A package had arrived the previous day, a hymnbook her husband had ordered. She tore off the paper and found Elowyn’s new song among the pages.
Elowyn’s father and grandparents overruled Hattie, again, when it came to the funeral. They held it in the church and the pastor told how Elowyn had been especially close to her grandparents. They had selected the following hymn, which they knew to be her heart’s desire. The song was “Fade, fade, each earthly joy; Jesus is mine.”
When she heard this, Ruth said, she bawled louder than any of the mourners. For this was the very same hymn that her mother, Mina, had already heard Elowyn singing in her twilight dream.
Some names have been changed, but this is based on a true story, as I recall hearing it from early childhood. Every time my mother Ruth told it, this story sent goosebumps up the back of my neck, and moved me to tears. God answered the anguish in my grandmother’s heart with this special revelation of His love and grace. Even more remarkable, the dream-vision was set to music, given to a woman who was totally tone deaf!
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