A Sign

I had only known the Lord for a few weeks when my step-father passed away. In reality he was the only dad I ever had. I really didn''t know my natural father. But what made the news even more of a shock was the fact I had just flown up for a visit a week before. He had been in the hospital for some time, and I could tell when I visited with him that he was afraid. I knew he needed Jesus, but I didn''t know what to say. I do remember asking him if he''d been thinking about God a lot. And I did tell him that I''d had an encounter with God. What really surprised me later was that he had mentioned these things I had said to my brothers and sister and had told them it had made him feel better. Still when I returned home I somehow felt God would give me more time to be a better witness to him. After all, I''d only known the Lord a few weeks and had only read the gospel of John up to that point. So the news of his death was something of a shock to me.

When the call came my heart leaped with a tragic sense of urgency as the phone rang. And it sank heavily upon hearing the words. The call came shortly after I had come home from work and so it was late in the evening before we had the van packed and the kids ready to go. We began the 1500 mile drive from Houston to Baltimore. We had been driving about 2 or 3 hours when my wife took the wheel. I climbed into the back of the van to try to catch some sleep as we had decided to drive through the night.

As I lay there I began thinking about how I had missed the chance to witness. Here I had been given the opportunity and had let it slip by. Then an even more tragic thought came to mind. Where was my step-fathers soul? My heart was wrenched by the crushing weight of needing to know. Hot tears rolled down my face as I began to pray.

"Lord, I don''t know much, but I do know you love me, and you know my heart. You see how it hurts. I need to know, my step-dad, is he with you, or in that other place? Tell me somehow, show me a sign or something to let me know." As I lay there thinking about that I realized I had no idea what a sign from God would look like. Then I added, "and make sure it''s something I won''t miss". A wave of peace came over me and I quickly and quietly fell asleep.

A few hours later I woke up feeling somewhat better, but still with a heavy heart. I made my way up to the front passenger seat. As I began to climb into the seat light suddenly filled the van, I could read the print on the newspaper laying on the floor. I looked up to see this brilliant bluish light, kind of like a pool light in color and the way they shimmer.

My first thought was, "doesn''t this guy know he''s blinding us and we''re going down the highway at 70mph?" Then I began to wonder, what is this light coming from. As suddenly as it appeared the light streaked off in an arch high into the sky and sort of splashed into the starry sky.

At first I had thought it was somebody beaming a search light at us from a bridge, then I realized it was moving with us. I thought, it must be some sort of helicopter as it was above us and in front of us. Then I realized there was absolutely no sound and it moved way to fast. So I thought, well maybe this is some sort of ball lightning or something. But there wasn''t a cloud in the sky. Then I thought, my gosh, is this some sort of UFO?

While all these thoughts were running through my head my wife asked, "what was that?" I started to run through the thinking I had just done when to my surprise the words that came out of my mouth were, "an answer to a prayer". My wife looked at me and simply said, "what?" I sat silently wondering.

I don''t know how long we both sat quiet. I think we were both afraid to talk about what we had just seen. Then almost simultaneously we both asked, "did we really see that?" What happened next nailed it for me. A man called into the radio station we happened to be listening to. He asked if anybody else had seen the light. Then what he said next was even more shocking, "it hovered over a blue van going east on I-10." This guy must have been right behind us and witnessed the whole thing!

I had gotten my sign, and God had made certain I wouldn''t miss it.