On December 24, 1993, I was a divorcee living with a friend in a small Iowa town. Like most mornings, I arose early to spend time with the Lord before enjoying Christmas with my family. My spiritual attitude was, “Okay, let’s get this over so we can eat turkey.”
Yet, even with my low level spirituality, heaven brought me a life-changing vision.
In it, I saw thousands and thousands of starving children in Africa. They were screaming at the top of their lungs from painful hunger. Their mothers held the children and the fathers stood next to them. All of the parents stared at me with pleading eyes…would I help them? Please!
The screams echoed in my ears and pierced my heart. I fell to the carpet and wept so much I thought the anguish would swallow me up right there on the spot.
Then, the screams stopped, and the vision disappeared into a deep blackness. As I caught my breath, the Holy Spirit said, “They don’t cry much after three days.”
After that, I wept even more.
I later learned that when starving children quit crying, the process is almost irreversible. They just slowly die.
When the vision ended, the Holy Spirit directed me to start a paint contracting company so I could help the poor and hungry children. I agreed to do it.
Now, let’s fast forward to today. How well have I succeeded to date?
The paint contracting company ended up totally destroying my finances, all of my friendships, my goals, and every particle of my reputation. There were times when I begged the Lord to throw me under a Greyhound Bus and put me out of my misery.
Paint contracting: Failure.
As far as helping the poor and needy children, I have sent a few dribbles of dollars here and there, but not enough to stop the echoes of the crying babies in my ears. Yes, I’ve fasted and prayed, but even that has been sporadic over the last nineteen years.
Helping Poor and Needy Children: Failure.
So, if I’m a total failure in all what the Holy Spirit directed me to do, why do I even keep trying, right?
During the horrendous years with my paint contracting company, I spent most of my mornings in earnest prayer. I had no other options because it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other, just to survive. I needed God’s grace each day.
Then, one morning I had another vision.
In the vision, I saw myself in heaven. It was a glorious place, filled with peace and love. As I stood there, enjoying myself, a long line of young black children assembled themselves to greet me. The line looked like it wound itself through heaven for miles and miles.
Not knowing what else to do, I walked over to the first child. His face radiated love, joy, and peace. There was something about his manner that let me understand he wanted to tell me something. I stood there, awaiting his words.
“I died and didn’t make it into my divine destiny because you failed to fully accomplish your calling,” he said without bitterness. Every word was backed with love.
I stood there, crushed by his words as he left and disappeared.
The next young black child spoke the same words to me. And so did the next. And the next. And the next. On and on. It seemed to be a never ending line of black children who died because I failed to make it into my calling.
There will be those who will scoff at this vision and declare, “God’s grace will cover all of our mistakes on earth.”
My answer to scoffers: “Yes, His grace will eventually cover us, but what about 2 Corinthians 5:10?”
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad
My greatest fear is at the Judgment Seat of Christ I might be faced with a line of children like I saw in that vision. Each child telling me how I failed them.
So, what am I doing to keep my calling alive?
(Continued in Part 2)