"The Presence of Peace"
(Story told to me by my Father-in-law)

The room was quiet as Dad lay back in his recliner.
He had been napping and Mom was still snoozing
on the couch  beside his chair.  Dad had been through a lot
in the past couple of weeks.  At 83, the word "crisis" had
occurred more than a few times, including
the awful scare of cancer that had
taken it's toll but he had survived all of that.

The past two weeks had left him frightened and uneasy
in a way that he had not experienced before.
First the heart attack with the excruciating pain,
only to be followed by a stroke that had affected his vision.
 As he sat in his chair, he felt the depression try to
invade his mind.  He knew he should be
thankful for his life and the fact that he was
minimally affected.  He knew so
many people who had not been as fortunate,
and he was so very thankful.
Yet, it all just seemed too much for him right now.
Though he fought it,
there was a fear that seemed to seize
his very breath at times.

He had been praying and asking God's help
when suddenly the room seemed to grow even more quiet,
and the light seemed to change.  Oh no, he
thought to himself, could it be his vision was getting worse?
 Wasn't it enough that he could not focus properly?
  As he stared out the window, he
knew that wasn't the problem, it was something more than that.

He was contemplating what it might be when
all at once he sensed  that there seemed to be something
in the room….or Someone…..a Presence.
He felt peculiar and a little apprehensive as he wondered
if he was about to have another heart attack,
but then he realized the feeling was more of an acute
awareness, as if his mind was more alert than ever before.

He thought he saw something, so he turned
his head to the left and he was
amazed to see a great gulf there.
It was such an expanse that it made the
Grand Canyon look tiny in comparison.
He could see far across that span,
yet his mind told him that was not possible.
There was no way the human
eye could see that far away but it seemed he had,
for the moment, the ability
to see something impossible.
He could see that all of the fear, pain, and
problems that he had, or ever had, were
bundled up together and placed over there.  It was as if
somehow they had been completely banished from his
very existence.  Suddenly, he felt something
begin to flow over him like warm thick honey
pouring into his very soul and he felt such peace that
passes all understanding.  He knew that he
was somehow in the presence of
God and it was overwhelming him.
The words, "fear not" echoed as the
Spirit of God spoke to his heart.  Could it actually be
the voice of Jesus speaking within him?  Many years ago
he had given his life to Him.  Would He come to him this way
just to reassure him of His love?

All at once, his eyes seemed to open,
although they were never closed.  He
felt peace so pure that he seemed to float within it
and it was not just around
him but in him.  The knowledge of the peace
of heaven permeated his heart,
his mind, and his soul and he knew
that he would never again fear death for
God had visited him this day.  He felt he
had been given a glimpse of the
peace of heaven.

He became aware of his name being called,
"Dad, Dad, are you awake?"  It
was his wife calling him.  She had called him "Dad," ever
since the children had come along.
He wanted to tell her but how would he ever find the
words to explain…

By Pamela R. Blaine
copyright May 8, 2001

Pam with Mom & Dad Blaine

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