With a glass of iced tea at my side I settled into a lounge chair on my deck. I was hoping the sunshine would melt away the stress from my chaotic day teaching school. ‘I’d hate to see what it’d be like if they took prayer out of the world, not just the schools.’ The sunshine was suddenly obscured by a white mist that settled over me and pulled me in.
“Hey, are you dead?”
I opened my eyes. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“Shhh!” The colorless person looked right and left. “Don’t ever say that word.”
I looked around, too, searching for a clue. “What word?” There were no clues to be seen, just weird…things, shapes that were so gray I couldn’t clearly see them.
The person sidled up close and whispered so quietly I could hardly hear. “Earth.”
“Earth?!” I know I didn’t say it loudly, but she shushed me like I’d shouted the word.
“Yes! That word. Never again.” The person slashed the air, her eyes wide in her deathly pale face.
I was truly confused. Maybe sunstroke had set in and my husband would return home to find me shriveled into nothingness.
“Where am I?” Everything was in shades of gray, shrouded with a permeating darkness.
The person drew herself up to her full stature, which was not very much, and solemnly said, “Reficul, land of eternal darkness. I am Suchen. What is your name?”
I gulped. This didn’t sound like a very nice place. “Paula.”
Suchen rolled her colorless eyes. “What kind of a name is Paula? You must come from a very strange place.”
‘Strange?’ I thought. ‘I’m not the strange one here, lady.’
“Come.” Suchen turned toward a curtain of gray mist that hadn’t been there a moment before. “We must get to safety before Dveliry hears of your arrival.”
We passed through a gray maze of seven misty portals before Suchen approached a small group of people, all who were also bleached of color.
“I have brought Paula to teach us the secret to happiness.”
My head whipped around to Suchen. “Now wait just a minute. I don’t know any secrets. I’m not the one you need.”
Suchen turned her serious eyes to me. “It is your duty as one of happiness. We called out to the Deity of your planet, asking to know, and He sent you. You may be the only one to reach us. Please, tell us about your happiness.”
‘One of happiness? My Deity?’ I wondered in panic before the truth sank in. ‘Help me, Lord!’ The panic that had gripped me moments before passed as I searched each face; they were seeking the reason for true happiness, which only comes from God.
With that quick, silent prayer I started with the first thing that came to mind, “In the beginning was the Word…”* I told them of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and moved on through history.
When my voice became hoarse they gave me a drink, but it only made me thirstier. I told them that Jesus, the perfect Son of God, died on the cross to pay the penalty of sin and that He offered forgiveness through His blood, and they cried. His resurrection and victory brought smiles through their tears.
Suchen looked around. “That’s it! That’s the key to your happiness. We are smiling for the first time in our miserable lives and it’s because of Jesus. Is this forgiveness and happiness available to us or is it just for those on your planet?”
This momentarily stumped me, but then the words were there. “If this were not for you He would not have sent someone to tell you.”
“Paula?” Suchen’s voice called me.
I felt the strange pulling as the white mist enveloped me again and I found myself back in my lounge chair.
“Paula, I’m sorry to bother you at home.”
“Sue! Hello!” I blinked my eyes. Sue looked like Suchen, but in full color. I could see she was quite distressed as she sat beside me, wringing her hands. “What can I do?”
“I need to know how you can be so peaceful after today’s chaos at school.”
Suchen’s voice rang in my ears from moments before. “He sent you. You may be the only one to reach us.”
“Let me tell you the secret of peace…,” I began as we went inside for some iced tea.
*John 1:1 NAS
“I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.” Proverbs 8:17 NAS
“…And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? …So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-15,17 NAS
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