Posted by: Michelle Knoll | April 23, 2010

A Dwelling Place

“My heart longs to see you, O Lord, again.

To spend time with you, as with a Friend.

To walk the streets, and traverse the hills,

To see the river — how my heart thrills

At all the wonder!  Yes!  ‘Tis true!

But no greater wonder there, than… YOU.”

In April, 2009, I had a very special dream.  I… think it was a dream.  Here is a recounting of the moments leading up to that dream, and the dream, for you all to enjoy.

I had been feeling “puny,” as my mom used to call it.  My stomach ached badly, but not in a nauseating way.  Just a strong ache, that troubled me because I needed to eat.  But eating wasn’t appealing.  Plus, I was tired, so I wanted to rest.  But I couldn’t sleep, because my spirit was as unsettled as my stomach.

I prayed and sought God’s heart, but no concerns came to mind.  So I just lay there, enduring the restless feeling in my stomach and my spirit.  I closed my eyes and became very still…

And suddenly…  I saw the Lord!  His face was so clear! Right in front of me!  And any thought of an upset stomach had disappeared.

We were standing on a street.  I knew where I must be, and I was thrilled beyond measure!  The Lord took my hand, and eagerly said, “Come with Me.  I want to show you something!”

We walked a good ways, and then stopped in front of one of the buildings that lined the street.  He walked up to the door and turned the handle, pushing the door open.  Then He waited for me to walk inside first.  I noticed He was watching my reaction to what I would find inside.

It was someone’s dwelling, but it wasn’t entirely finished yet.  Even so, it was beautiful.  The walls were the most interesting color.  They were like marble, sort of rose and tan mixed together, but not in swirls or mottled. Just the two colors blended into one.

The first floor was a large sitting area.  There was furniture in the center of the room: a couch with two chairs, and behind them were floor-to-ceiling bookcases, though they weren’t full of books.  The whole place had the feeling of a work in progress.

I walked around the room, while He stood quietly and watched me.  I then noticed large glass doors that led to a sitting area, off the back of the dwelling.  A patio?  It was made of marble pavers, lighter in color that shone brightly in the light outside.  Beyond the patio was grass greener than I had ever seen, under beautiful shade trees.

Then I noticed to my right, standing in the corner near those tall glass doors, something I knew I had seen before.  But from where?  It was very tall and built of what appeared to be solid… Red Cedar? Mahogany?  Not being knowledgeable about different types of wood, I couldn’t decide what it was.  But wood?  Here?  Well, yes, there were trees outside.  I could see them through the large glass doors…

“Wait,” I began, looking at the wooden structure in front of me. “I know who used to make things like this… on earth…”  I looked at the Lord for an explanation, and He only said, “Yes, I know.  Those are very important to Me.  One of his finest creations.  I always liked those.”

I gasped as the realization suddenly hit me.  Turning to face the Lord, I asked, “This… is… his place?!?”  The Lord smiled quietly and said, “Mm hmm,” as He watched the thought spread across my face.  My eyes opened wide with wonder, and my heart began to pound!  This was my friend’s place!  Suddenly everything in the room took on a whole new meaning.  I studied every intricate detail: the walls, the floor, the windows, and the furniture that had already been placed.

That’s when I realized: no more than a few feet from me, was a desk.  A very simple desk, with coloring that matched the coloring in the walls and floor.  It was across the room from the bookshelves, so it sat alone.  I walked beside it, marvelling at how its color matched the room so perfectly, yet it didn’t seem to be made of marble.  My heart swelled with joy.  I imagined my friend that would live here, sitting at that desk, writing out a poem, or a thought, or…

The Lord said to me, “Oh! Come take a look at this!” Curious as to what it could be, I followed Him over to the corner beside the front door.  There stood a closet, not more than two feet wide.  The Lord turned the doorknob to open the door, and then stepped back as He said, “Look in here.”

I was amazed, for there stood the musical instruments that my friend loved so much, as if they had always been there.  The closet seemed to be made just for them.  What a mystery.  I considered asking about them, but did not.  And the Lord did not comment.

Then I turned around, and noticed there was a staircase, right near the desk! Why had I not seen it before?  Curious, I gave the Lord a questioning look, as if to say, “May I?”  The Lord smiled and said, “Go on…”  So I climbed the stairs, which were spiral in nature.  On the second story was another room with the same coloring as the lower floor.  I realized quickly that this was a bedroom, and another set of large glass doors led to a deck on the back of the dwelling.

My curiosity drew me outside, for there, in the middle, was a work table.  It was also of a very simple construction, yet built sturdily.  I laughed in amazement as I noticed there are already tools on the table!

“Oh, he’s going to love this!”  Running my hands along the edge of the work table, I smiled broadly, imagining my friend working away on some new invention.  He does so love to invent things, and keep his mind busy… always…

Suddenly, I heard the Lord’s voice speak softly, “Child… it’s time to go.”


“Yes, child. Now.”

The look on His face was solemn.  I knew He meant every word, but I did not want to go.

“Now? But…”

“Child.  It’s time.”

Tears filled my eyes, as I looked back at the work table, and all the tools.  I did not wish to leave! This was my friend’s place, and I had been able to see it, which had thrilled me beyond reason! But for some reason, I did not want to go back.

“But…” I said, as the sobs made their way up my throat.

“Daughter…” the Lord spoke more firmly, as He took a step toward me.

“I can’t go! Please! Don’t ask me to go!” I pleaded softly, as tears fell down my face like tiny waterfalls.

He took a step closer. “But you must.”

His words had such finality to them, and I didn’t want to hear them.  The tears came in full force now, as I shook my head from side to side, crying out for the Lord to understand.

“No! I can’t leave! I want to stay here! I want to be here when he comes! Please! Let me stay! I want to see him! Please! Don’t ask me to go! I can’t! I won’t!”

Suddenly, the Lord was right in front of me, and He cradled my tear-stained face in His hands.  I gasped for air, the sobs coming stronger, as He looked at me with the sternest of glances, and said:

“Daughter! There Are Others!”

His words rang through my soul like claps of thunder — each word having its own emphasis, like individual exploding bombs — even though He had spoken barely above a whisper.

My heart sank as I realized all too well that He was right.  I closed my eyes, and cried quietly, not holding back my tears, while He continued to hold my face in His hands.  I saw faces of others I knew so well, all good friends with serious situations of their own, just like this friend.  So many that needed prayer, encouragement, love… and I knew I couldn’t be selfish.

I had only been standing like that for a brief moment, thinking of all of these dear friends, when suddenly a voice spoke:

“Thank you, dear sister.”

My heart raced.  It was not the Lord’s voice!  It was the voice of my friend!  I looked up suddenly, eyes wide as saucers, as there he stood, right before me.  Still cupping my face in his hands, he smiled down at me with a very warm smile.  I was so overcome with emotion, I could not speak.

How was this possible??

I closed my eyes, gasping for breath, and opened them again. There stood my Master, the Lord, still holding my face, just a mere breath away.  My eyes beheld His with awe, and wonder, and curiosity at what had just taken place.  I didn’t understand, but in a way… I did.  And the tears… just… stopped.

He gazed at me with a warm-hearted smile, and said softly, “I know what you just saw!”  I did not know what to say, as He released my face and took a step backwards. Then, He held out His hand for mine, and said, “Come with me.”  Placing my hand in His, we made our way back down to the first floor and out the door.

Still not knowing what to say, I just looked at Him.  He was smiling, as if He held a secret in His heart that He couldn’t wait to share with me.  So I said nothing, not knowing where else He would take me, or what was going to happen next.

“I have a surprise for you.  Someone is coming to take you back.  He’ll be here in just a moment.”

Someone is coming to take me back??  Who??

I heard a voice from around the corner.

“Hi there.”

My mouth dropped open in utter amazement, as my eyes beheld the young man coming towards me.  My little brother from high school band, Michael, just as tall as he had always been, with light blond hair and eyes that twinkled, reached out to greet me.  I looked at the Lord, my mouth still hanging open, which caused Him to smile once again.  As Michael reached my side, we hugged gently, and then turned toward the Lord.  Still awestruck, I could say nothing.

“See to it that she makes it back safely.”

“Yes, Lord, I will do just that.”  And Michael took my hand, and we walked down the street together, past the buildings, under the trees, in the light of God’s love.

When I awoke on my bed, my pillow was stained with many tears, as if I had cried myself to sleep.  I was still crying, but they were not tears of grief.  They were tears of joy and comfort and hope.

Two months after this dream, my friend left this earth for his Heavenly dwelling.  I had no warning that his leaving was to be that soon.

But ever since, I have wondered…

Was it really a dream?


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