Would Jesus appear in a dream to someone who did not know Him?
Many years ago, almost twenty now, it happened to a friend of mine named Adnan. Adnan grew up in culture far from mine on the other side of the world. We talked sometimes about religion. His was different than mine. Here's what he dreamed:
Adnan had for a long time experienced a recurring nightmare of death chasing him. Sometimes death was a pack of demonic dogs, or a withered, mocking face. In his dreams he was hunted. He would run like a defenseless animal, manic and desperate. But he could not outrun death. This dream came to him at different times for years.
But then he had a dream about Jesus. Jesus appeared in his doorway surrounded by colors he had never seen before. Jesus reached for him. Then held him. Jesus lifted him up to put his feet on His, like a child. Adnan held on and danced with Him like that. He said it was Jesus' eyes that impressed him. Eyes full of love, piercing his heart and filling him with that same love.
Only a few days later, he had the nightmare again. This time it was the dogs chasing him. At first, he was terrified and ran when he heard them. But then the dream changed. He remembered the other dream about Jesus. He stopped running. He stopped trying so hard to forge his own escape. My friend who before had no strong arms to lift him up, no rescuer, and no defense, kneeled in prayer. The dogs stopped.
From the sky fell a book titled James.
“James, the book from the bible?” I asked when he told me about it.
He had never read it. “It’s a book from the bible?” He said.
I’m a believer, but Jesus appeared to Adnan. It makes me smile now to think about it, though I can’t explain why.
What can I say to people who would tell me Jesus would never appear this way? What can I say to all the people who would not want to hear this? I don’t know what to say, but even as I write this my heart is full and my spirit is fearless.
When Jesus left Adnan's dream He told him that now He would come see me. I do not see Him, but I know He is here.
And, yes, I gave him a bible.