So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.(1 Cor 10:31)
In this Bible-based modern day parable blog, you will see a fictitious earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Within the blog, a young man, we shall call him George, finds God's Grace by way of an unusual twist. That trip to his favorite ice cream store.
You see, George had an ongoing apprehension. It was his dreams, repeating over and over, and being directed by this unknown voice. These life-like dreams were an endless nuisance to his sleep pattern, and they added to his anxiety. Yes, George was a very depressed young man having lost his Mom, and his dreams reflected his depression.
In this, his most loved dream, as he visited his favorite ice cream parlor a strange chain of events happened. George was directed by divine guidance to a street corner open air church service just outside the ice cream store. It was there that George found the much-needed everlasting peace. It was only when George started to leave that the strange actions and their effects occurred.
To set the stage of this latest and most realistic dream, it had been nine months since George lost his Mom. The hot sticky summer had passed into a bone-chilling winter, a winter that tends to make you want to snuggle by the fire with a good book. However, the more George tried to forget the past, the more those unforgettable memories continued to roll in his dreams like a sad movie score. If he could only get over that still small voice, the voice that kept haunting his lonely dreams at night. So here goes George's dream recap, the recollection of his most famous dream, vision or endless memory reminder.
It’s been nine months now, since we lost Mom. And the more I try to forget the past, the more those unforgettable memories continue to haunt my memory. If only I could just get over that “still small voice,” the voice that keeps haunting me, by visiting me in my loneliness at night. "Yes, those bumps in the road will somehow turn into smooth sailing in spite of the memories," the voice would lament. Did this voice actually know Mom? If not, why did this voice keep quoting Mom by so vividly recalling such memories as “Remember that Bible verse? You know Mom’s favorite verse she would quote all the time, when things seemed bad?" But, that still small voice would never continue the conversation by telling me what I needed to do or where I needed to go to find this scripture verse. Suddenly one evening, as if a train had hit me, my depression worsened. So I said to myself,” I know. I’ll go have an ice cream. Yes, that’s what I’ll do." When I was a kid, ice cream always seemed to fix everything. As I entered the Ice Cream Scoop, I observed that familiar scene. Mr. Johnson was standing behind the counter, smiling from ear to ear, and wrapped in that big ice cream apron, the one with all 30 flavors of ice cream so artistically displayed. And I joked, as I always do, “That apron will surely wind up in the Smithsonian Institution someday. I think I’ll have the Raspberry Swirl, Mr. Johnson, and make it a double dip cone."
"Well, George, you must really be depressed," Mr. Johnson said, as he handed me the big cure-all ice cream. Then suddenly, as if I had seen a ghost, some images appeared through the front window, half blocked by the frosted snow. There were a number of individuals dressed in old fashion colonial garb. The men wore white shirts with black string ties and long black coats. The women's garments were long flowing dresses with matching old fashioned bonnets.
"Listen, Mr. Johnson, they are singing what appears to be a church hymn." Is it Christmas already? I ask myself. It can’t be. Summer has just left us. But why else would this group be singing on a street corner in this miserable weather? However, as I concentrated on the music, the words became more familiar. By golly, it is a hymn and they have brought the church to us. As if Mom was pulling my ear again, I had an urge to run outside slamming the door behind me. As I left the store I seemed to be pulled like a magnet, closer to the singing group. Oh yes, it is cold here. However, the weather did not seem to hinder these happy people. As I came closer, I realized something was surely very different about these people. They were all singing and clapping to the tune of the old fashioned Sacred Harp, or fasola hymns. I seem to remember reading somewhere that this singing was from the colonial period so I guess the singing fit their dress. But this can't be real as it would mean these people were hundreds of years old.
They even had a small band playing and one man was beating an old bass drum with the inscription "Jesus Saves" on the drum skin. As they continued the service, they sang several hymns. The group seemed happy and sang like they believed every word of the songs. I’ve heard this hymn before, I said to myself, and I have never felt as these people seem to feel. They had a message and they were going to get it out, regardless of the weather. Then, as the singing ended, the leader of the group opened an old tattered Bible. His words stammered and his speech frosted, due to the frigid cold weather, as he began to read. What’s this? Why I remember now, it's Moms favorite scripture. “For we know that all things work together for good, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) When the man finished reading the Bible he looked straight at me, and started talking as if he had known me all my life.
Then, as if by divine impulse, the man laid the old drum that the group used to keep time with the music, down on the sidewalk and asked if anybody would like to kneel and pray with him. And guess what? That “still small voice” returned to my memory. Only this time, the voice did finish by telling me how I could have a personal relationship with this living GOD the man had so vividly spoken about. The voice even quoted a particular Scripture passage to me. (John 3:16-18)
Then suddenly, as the frozen tears stuck to my face, it all came home to me. I then started shouting “Hallelujah!” in my heart, and as by that same divine uncontrollable impulse, my heart started singing Mom's favorite Hymn. “Amazing Grace, How Sweet The Sound, That Saved A Wretch Like Me. I Once Was Lost But Now I’m Found. Was Blind But Now I See.” As I turned to say good-by, to my amazement, the group disappeared. And just as suddenly as the group vanished, I was physically drawn to the pavement below me. “I can’t believe it," I mumbled to myself. The old tattered Bible which the man was reading was Mom’s Bible. Trembling, almost uncontrollable, I picked up Mom’s Bible. And lo and behold, it was open to a passage marked in red which read;
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2 )
Oh yes, what happened to my ice cream, you may ask. Well, it melted away, as did my sinful heart. God truly is love and His salvation is surely free. (Ephesians 2:8-9). I got a double dip of God's Grace that day. Unlike the ice cream, this Grace will never melt away. Yes, my double dip icream set me free.
And that's my dream, as best I can remember. Never before, and never again, have I had such a dream.
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