About a year ago, I had the following dream…
I quietly walked through my childhood neighborhood towards my parents’ home on a chilly winter evening as the warmth of the sun slipped slowly beyond the treetops. Although I was bundled warmly in a thick coat, the air bit uncomfortably at my nose and fingers, and I couldn’t wait to be inside the comfort of the house.
I was relieved to gaze ahead and see my parents’ home was only a couple of houses away. It was a typical middle class, suburban home in the South with manicured, golden-green grass, tall pine trees, and hedges dividing the neighboring yards.
As I approached my parents’ driveway, I felt a certain uneasiness settle in the bottom of my stomach. Something seemed wrong, and I had the overwhelming sense that someone or something was watching me. I stood still, fear chilling the blood in my veins.
Finally, I gathered the courage to look at the neighboring yard to the right. Beneath the shadows of the towering pines, I saw a large, golden feline yawning widely before returning her attention upon me.
Is that–a lion? I wondered, trembling. Suddenly, I realized she wasn’t the only big cat staring. Behind her and throughout the neighbor’s yard were several other female lions and one very large male lion. I continued to stand at the end of my parents’ driveway, completely paralyzed with fear. Where did they come from?
When the lions appeared to lose interest in me, I cautiously sneaked down the sloped driveway. I watched them nervously with each step I took until I reached the front porch which caused me to momentarily lose my gaze upon the large cats.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of twigs breaking and the swift crushing of leaves. I glanced back to the lions and to my horror saw them running in my direction. I leapt up the last step and pounded wildly on the front door.
“It’s me! Dad! Mom! Let me in!” I begged, tears forming as fear gripped the pit of my stomach.
My father opened the door. His eyes were wide and bewildered as I breezed past him and slammed the door shut tightly behind me. I knew lions couldn’t open the door, but I latched and locked it anyway. My knees shook as I slide my back against the door.
“What’s wrong?” my father demanded.
“There are lions in your front yard!” I heaved tiredly.
Dad gave me concerned stare.
“Really! There are lions. I don’t know how they got there, but they are in your front yard.”
Dad motioned for us to go into their front sitting room where a large picture window would tell the tale of whether or not his daughter had truly lost her mind. We pushed aside the heavy, drape and peered into the front yard. The pack of lions sat in the yard before us. They looked up to see the commotion at the picture window and stared hungrily back at us, licking their lips menacingly. In the middle of the pack was a male who appeared to be the largest of all the lions.
“See?” I pressed. “I told you there were lions.”
As we watched the lions, we saw a man’s silhouette walking down the street towards my parents’ house.
“Dad, what are we going to do? Someone has to warn the man there are lions in your yard! They will eat him!” I cried, realizing the man would surely meet his doom.
Dad shook his head, “I’m not sure what to do.”
We shifted our gaze back to the man and were surpised to see him suddenly standing at the edge of parents’ driveway. The man was concealed from head to toe in a heavy, plum-colored coat. The hood was pulled over his head and a thick scarf masked his neck and most of his face. We narrowed our eyes, futility attempting to make out his features in the increasing darkness of the night. The lions continued focusing on us, seemingly unaware of the man’s presence behind them.
Before I could utter a word, the man’s voice filled my mind like a warm, bubbling spring; and I suddenly understood who the man was, “Why are you afraid of the lions? I’m not, and I’ll protect you.”
“The man is Jesus,” I stated softly. “He’s here to save us from the lions.”