Today I shall invite you into my secret garden. You have such a secret garden. We all do. But one day something happened; none of us are too sure what it was or when it was; and the door to our secret garden closed and a hedge of impregnable thorns grew around our garden, the garden of our heart. When we looked for the door, we could not find it. The story of “Sleeping Beauty” is about such a place. It is everyone’s story. And if you have never read this fairy tale or cannot remember how it goes, this may be the time to read it; or you can click on the name of the fairy tail and have someone read it to you. This may be the time your Prince will come, give you that heavenly kiss, wake you up and cause you to remember that we are all special and beautiful in the sight of God, but maybe not always in each other’s.
On the door to my secret garden are posted these words: “For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible.” So I ask you, before you step inside, please leave all unbelief at the gate. Without faith in God there is no “magic” and no miracle.
I borrowed those words from the movie “The Song of Bernadette.” It is one of those wonderful old movies in black and white with Jennifer Jones. It is the true story of the French maiden, Bernadette Soubirous, who had a vision of “a beautiful lady” near her hometown of Lourdes. Not everyone believed Bernadette’s story and that caused her great pain. She was called stupid, a liar, a fool and much more. Nevertheless, she never renounced the vision of the “beautiful lady;” and in time God honored this simple French maiden. Today, more than 100 years later, the city of Lourdes, France is a place of pilgrimage. The grotto where Bernadette first saw the “beautiful lady” is now a place sanctified by many miracles of healing.
So I ask you, before you read on, let us never call anyone who has seen a vision a stupid person, crazy or a fool. We might be throwing insults and abuse at royalty if we do. Just because we cannot see, hear or feel what someone else does, should not invalidate their report or cause us to question their sanity. Do you agree?
I invite you into my secret garden not to entertain you, but to share with you a very real story and a very real burden. I have kept this story and burden hidden in my heart for a very long time. And if you can feel my pain and my burden, then I will ask you to help me carry it by sharing this story with others as God directs.
I have always been pained when anyone privileged to have a vision was called stupid, crazy, schizophrenic, paranoid, a liar, etc. and etc. I have always been pained to read or hear that the gift of “seeing” and “hearing” has been simply dismissed as someone having a “chemical imbalance” in the brain or a “genetic discrepancy.” At times my wife Rebekah sees angels. I cannot see them. Should that invalidate what she sees? Heaven forbid, NO! Should anyone dare say she has a chemical imbalance? Heaven forbid, NO! What about the apostle Paul on the Road to Damascus? Did he have a sun stroke or a “Son” stroke? What we believe will make all the difference in the world and in our own, private world. We must re-examine how we treat those who have been ushered into the realm beyond the five senses. Whenever we call these children of God insane, stupid, or fools, we disqualify them as healthy citizens and set them apart to be pitied or feared, while at the same time putting our own lives on the brink of hellfire according to God’s Word.
Please read on because I will now tell you a story you will never forget. This story begins in 1971. I was sitting in church. The service had not started. People were still coming and being ushered to their seats. Some were sitting in their seats praying or reading their Bibles, while others visited with one another with hushed voices. In the pew in front of me were sitting two girls. They may have been ten or eleven years old. They were visiting with one another in an animated manner as they were pointing their fingers first in one direction, then in another. At that point I became curious as to what they might be seeing and saying to each other. So I eavesdropped on their conversation. I was fascinated by what I overheard. Both of the girls were apparently able to see the auras that emanated from different people sitting in their pews. If you do not know what an aura is, the dictionary defines it as “an energy field that is held to be emanating from a living being.”
The two girls described to one another what they saw. Some auras were beautiful and resembled a rainbow, while others were dark and even scary to look at. Each aura was different from the next and apparently defined the personality of the wearer. I have never seen an aura except as painted around saints by medieval artists. I would not be surprised if those who painted them, painted what they saw. I believe, and here is that word again that threatens our rational, western mentality. I believe who we really are cannot be disguised by the clothes we wear or any amount of make-up we put on. Only the righteousness of Christ is able to conceal, to cover up our fallen human nature. A beautiful aura is therefore a reflection of the glory of God and never a reflection of our own good deeds or behavior.
For many years I pondered what I overheard. I never told anyone about those two young girls sitting in the pew in front of me. Mary pondered the immaculate conception of the Son of God and the visitation of angels. In like manner I pondered the significance of what those two girls said to one another. Why is it that certain bits of information linger and linger in our memory, while other events are so quickly forgotten?
One day, some fifteen years later, pieces of an amazing puzzle were assembled around our dining room table. A picture came into focus that was only a distant memory. Thus far I have been restrained from sharing this story with anyone. But in order to help set those free who might be adjudged insane or “stupid” because of their supernatural gifts of “seeing” or “hearing,” I will risk telling you the whole story. But before I do, it might be good to remind ourselves that the well-known German composer Ludwig von Beethoven was stone-deaf at the time he wrote his famous Ninth Symphony. He must also have had the gift of “hearing.”
It was evening. We were sitting at the dining room table enjoying a meal with friends. There was a knock at the door. We went to see who it might be. The woman who stood at the door seemed agitated and asked if she could come in. She was a member of our church family. We invited her to join us for supper, but she declined our invitation and proceeded to tell us her story.
She said, “Peter, last night at church I saw something that has caused me much confusion and pain all my life. I saw a silver bar inside a beam of light over your head. I must know if seeing this is a gift from God or a curse from Satan. I have seen such things all my life. What I see may be hideous and frightening or very beautiful and uplifting. I was told by a pastor in Phoenix that I must renounce this gift of “seeing,” that it was from the pit of hell; that I must repent and never mention it to anyone again. I am in great anguish. I must know if this is a gift from God, from Satan or if I am crazy. Please tell me what you know. Please tell me what you believe to be true, so that I can find peace for my soul. I trust you and know that the Lord will instruct me correctly through you.”
At that moment the contents of a letter flashed into my mind my Mother had written to me only two months earlier. It was the last letter she wrote before falling asleep in the arms of Jesus at the age of 89. Here is her letter:
Monday, 9:00 a.m. December 16, 1985
I am praying that the heavenly regions will send an army of angels to be on guard, watching over you as you travel; and that angels will also be with Rebekah at home watching and taking care of her and giving her strength to pray for your safe return and for strength to fulfill God’s assignment.
Read Ephesians 6:17. “The Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit.” I relived your conception and the Holy Spirit came over me as He does now as I write. I saw you holding the sword high above your head. You were so large and shining in your silver armor as you held the sword over your head.
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus Christ. Praise our heavenly Father. Mutti
(Mutti is the diminutive and endearing name for “Mother” in German.)
As I remembered these words, the Holy Spirit came upon me and prompted me to share the contents of the letter. What my Mother wrote validated what our visitor saw, and I felt directed to tell her so. I told our visitor that God had favored her by giving her the gift of “seeing;” but I also told her to use discretion and wisdom in telling others what she saw. “Don’t show everyone the secrets in the garden of your heart,” I said. We all prayed and asked Jesus to guard her mind and use her gift to bring glory to God. Then the peace of God settled upon her countenance and upon all of us who were a witness to this unusual event. Shortly thereafter she said, “I am O.K. now” and turned to leave. But this is not the end of the story.
I knew that our visitor was a gifted poet and asked her if she could capture what she had experienced in the form of a poem. And she did. A few days later she returned, her face aglow and filled with the peace of God. She gave us a poem I have treasured for the past twelve years, but have not shared outside my immediate family. I share this with you in the hopes that you will also share those secrets you have pondered in your heart for a long time. We must not allow the fear of man to stop us from sharing the glorious visions and words God has entrusted to us. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, not the fear of man.
The Knight in Silver Armor|
On the night of his conception,
The night he came to be;
The lady had a vision
God unveiled her eyes to see.
A glimpse into the future,
Which was hard to comprehend,
As it glowed with ancient chivalry,
Times when knights still knew the land.
She knew within her gentle heart
A son she soon would bear.
He would have a quest in life,
Would be noble, would be fair.
This simple, sweet soul vision
God in time proved true.
She loved her little knight of silver,
Watched and wondered as he grew.
The knight in silver armor
Through tribulations came,
Victorious and praising God,
Filled with the Holy Spirit,
Conquering in Jesus’ Name.
His King is the almighty King,
The standard he holds high
As he proudly fights the holy wars,
Allelulia is his battle cry.
Guiding lost wayfarers now
To the palace of the King.
Comforting and teaching those
Whose spirits had felt Satan’s sting.
One day a frightened woman
Sought him out for she had seen
A silver bar above his head
In the glowing of his living beam.
He told her to take comfort,
That her seeing was of God,
And confirmation of a vision
Was given through the “seeing” of the silver rod.
Thanks to the lovely lady,
Mother of the silver knight,
Who released me from a prison
And brought my “seeing” to the light.
Maybe others can now accept their gift of “seeing,” or can now accept the gift of “seeing” in others. Even if one more person has been liberated and can share what is in their secret garden, I shall be jubilant and praise God. I do realize that not all visions and voices are from God. I realize there are many counterfeits. I realize there can be much torment and confusion that accompanies the gift of “seeing” and “hearing.” But God has given us these very clear instructions; and if we bind them to our heart, we do not need to be afraid. God says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Proverbs 119:105. No one can be led astray who takes this proverb to heart. Do not let anyone rob you of the gift of “seeing” or “hearing” what God wants to show or tell you in the midnight hour. Do not let anyone call you stupid or insane; and do guard your lips and your heart lest you should be tempted to speak or even think such cruel words.
Jesus spoke these words to guide and restrain our lips: “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. (Matthew 5:22-23, The Message).
I would love to hear from you,
Serving Jesus as Stretcher Bearer, Peter D. Laue