The words of the title came to mind this morning when I awoke. They’re found in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17. I had slept well the first part of the night but, after getting up in the wee hours to use the bathroom and take the dog out, I didn’t sleep well the second part. Perhaps it was due to the weather getting ready to change, but my aching knee alone was enough to make sleep difficult. The two aspirin I’d taken seemed to have no effect, so I tossed and turned and cat-napped.
I often dream—usually short nonsensical dreams or else long boring ones about working or traveling. In my last one, I found myself and my wife entering what appeared to be the lobby of a grand hotel. The place was full of hunter green, dark oak and Victorian furnishings. It reeked of class and antiquity. Being just sight-seers, we avoided the desk and walked back a short hall that ran toward the back of the building to the left of the front desk. It soon opened into what appeared to be a huge library, though I could only see the aisle that we were in. That aisle was very wide and contained three tables about 16 feet long placed side-by-side and running the direction of the aisle.Imagine my surprise, as we neared the far end of the tables, when my long deceased uncle stepped around the end of the oak bookcase on our right and faced us with the old twinkle in his eye and a warm smile on his face. Since he used to own a clothing store, I wasn’t surprised that he was dapper-looking in a medium brown suit, but without a tie. The ceiling lights glinted off the “high forehead” I remembered, but the well-chewed cigar stub that was his trademark was missing. He appeared to be about 50 years old. He just stood there smiling at us, but kept his silence.
I hadn’t fully recovered from seeing my uncle when my dead father stepped closer from the other side of the room, where he’d arrived unnoticed. He had a half-smile on his face as he looked at us, but he remained silent, too. I don’t remember the color of his pants, only that they co-ordinated well with his dark-grey sport coat. He looked about as he did at age 35. At that point, I thought that I’d entered the next life, and fully expected my wife to see her first husband next, but that didn’t happen. I wondered how we’d gotten there, since I didn’t remember anything traumatic in the moments before.
The area soon filled with other men in suits and sports coats of muted tones, all without ties. They seated themselves as they arrived and spoke softly among themselves and laughed quietly at times. All acknowledged my wife and me with a glance and a smile, but none spoke to us directly. My wife and I sat down, too. Even though I saw no other familiar faces, it somehow came to me that these men were all relatives who’d passed on before me. Though I couldn’t hear most of their conversation, I did pick up one fellow asking another if he knew that “great-great-grandma xxxx” had died. The other replied that he didn’t even know that she was still alive. That seemed strange coming from men who you would think to be her elders.Soon, a slightly louder voice said, “I think I hear them coming!” The men arose and slowly worked their way to the open part of the aisle behind us. One gestured gently that we should stand up, too. That’s when I noticed that there were two women in the group who’d sat down unnoticed near the end of the row that we were in. One wore a dress of some muted color, while the one closest wore a bright pink dress with a red feather pillbox hat, plus had on high heels and carried a large purse. She appeared older than the other people there and had hair that was nearly white. It occurred to me that someone was going to make an entrance, and respect was being shown by standing for the occasion.
Soon, a door on the far wall opened, and three men came in carrying a white-haired woman in a pink, quilted house-coat. She was talking and laughing quietly with the men. Two had her in a sort of semi-reclining fireman’s carry, while the third carried her feet. It appeared that the lady being carried was capable of walking, but that being carried was somehow supposed to honor and welcome her. One other man held the door and two more simply walked behind, making six men with the lady—the same number normally used for pall-bearers, I thought.And there the dream ended. It was as if I’d hit the pause button on a video-player; the people stayed there, but motionless. Suddenly, it came to me that I was dreaming, and that all I had to do to leave the dream was open my eyes. When I did so, I found myself looking at the bedroom ceiling. Sitting up on the edge of the bed, I asked the Lord to show what was meant if there was some meaning, otherwise, I’d just think it was some crazy dream. I then prayed my usual morning prayer and went downstairs to great the morning. My wife and my ecstatic dog awaited. So, now I wonder. © 2013