“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
I had a bad dream a few nights ago. An old indiscretion came flooding into my mind and took over the solitude of my rest. It doesn’t matter what it was – a dredged-up long-forgotten sin. The Bible comforts me by stating, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). That’s not to be used as an excuse, but the particular sin that troubled my sleep had already been dealt with. I had asked God’s forgiveness years ago, and He had granted my request – another promise He makes throughout His scripture. Nevertheless, with my eyes closed and my body still, it crept in and began its haunt. I’m not a student of the science of sleep, so wether the memory corrupted my mind for a nanosecond or an hour, I can’t say. But in my soul it felt like ages. I was suddenly back in the midst of selfishness, then fear, then anger, then sadness, then self-loathing, and back to selfishness. I can’t tell you wether or not I was dreaming or slightly awake, but I do remember asking God for help in the middle of the torment. Without a weapon in my hand, or a tool to chase away the past, I simply spoke the name of my savior, “Jesus.” As soon as I said His name something happened. I saw something. Something miraculous and so comforting to me that I couldn’t stop repeating His name over and over, “Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…”
What did I see? It was like one of those dark nights with a thunderstorm rolling in in the distance. When the sky is close to absolute darkness and you cannot make out a tree or a building. Then suddenly lightning strikes in the far off place and even though you cannot hear it you can slowly make out the black edges of the things around you, a cloud overhead, the momentary suggestion of a parked car, a hint of texture that is the grass under your feet. Just a flash, and then back to darkness. Like that. Except with every utterance of Jesus’ name the sky would pulse a purple hue. It was dark purple at first. But with more iterations, not like I was in control of it, but as if I was in a dance and the illumination was an affirmation, a response to my cry, “Jesus,” the sky brightened a bit more.
In an instant I recognized that purple is the color of royalty and that my request for help was answered in that purple vision. “They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.” (Mark 15:17). My King was there to save me. But all the more I was reminded that I am an image bearer of my God. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). God was reminding me that He was my savior and that I was already forgiven. Back and forth as I said the name of Jesus, and the light grew, and His majesty was acknowledged, and my identity as a child of God restored, I was healed. The healing came in the form of peace.
“Jesus.” Dark purple at first, “Jesus,” then lighter purple, “Jesus,” then as it moved from purple to violet, “Jesus,” then warmer and warmer. It felt so good. It was like being refreshed in a cool rain, but from the inside out. Then it started to have the appearance of a sunrise, but the most magical purple daybreak you could hope for. It didn’t last long. The relief came quickly. With my spirit calmed and rest renewed I exhaled and was back to my slumber.