|Dreaming Your Way to Faith|
|Written by Sherry|
|Wednesday, 04 November 2009 15:27|
Loads of great bloggable stuff stored up.
First up, this fascinating story from the Arlington, Virginia Catholic Herald: (H/T to Gashwin)
Uma and Kumar Krishnan were devout Hindus living in Singapore when something remarkable happened.
Uma had a dream in January of 2006: "she saw a 'very humble lady' surrounded by candles.
She and Kumar were devout Hindus and they knew the lady in Uma’s dreams was not a Hindu god. They knew little of Christianity, but they thought this lady might be the Blessed Mother. Still, because they came from a long tradition of Hinduism in India, they didn’t give the dream much thought.
The next year the Krishnans moved to the US and in April of 2009 Uma began to have other dreams:
'One night she dreamed she was walking into a church she’d never seen before. Once inside, she turned right and found a little room where there were red candles and a statue of Mary.
The second night, she was in the same room, but this time she saw a big cross made of palm leaves.
Another night, she dreamed she was in a boat. On her right was a black woman with dark hair and on her left, a lady wearing a blue scarf and holding a Bible. The woman in blue showed Uma some verses to read to make her worries disappear. In her dream, Uma read the Bible verses and both women disappeared.
Uma and Kumar talked about the dreams and, by the fourth night, they decided to visit a church to see what was happening.
Kumar typed “St. Mary Church Fairfax” into Google and entered the address from the first result into his GPS device. The address was for St. Mary of Sorrows Church in Fairfax.
When they got to the church, Uma was shocked. On the outside, it looked just like the church she had dreamed about the first night. When they went inside and turned right, there was a small chapel with red votive candles, a statue of Mary and a cross. It was just like her dreams. Uma started to cry.
“The moment was so touching,” Kumar said. “We were not even Christians and we were not even worshipping when we got such a thing. We were Hindus and we didn’t exactly know how to pray, but we just sat there and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for all these visions and thank you for bringing us here. We don’t know what to do, you tell us, you guide us, show us what has to be done.’”
Eventually, the Krishnans began to attend Mass and the local charismatic prayer group every week. St. Mary's pastor formed a special RCIA team for the couple and they were baptized on September 12.
Their pastor, "Father Starzynski said Uma and Kumar’s conversion story shows that God works in mysterious ways. He felt honored that he could be there to help the family.
“I think it speaks to how beautifully God can work and does work,” he said. “It makes you think, are we flexible enough to understand the ways God may work that are outside the box that we have constructed?”
As I have mentioned before on ID, experiencing dreams and visions that lead to the non-Christian recipient becoming a Christian is a remarkably common phenomena in the Muslim world. Back in March of 2008, I posted about the research that Dr. Dudley Woodbury had done with 750 "Muslim Background Believers" from all over the world.
"As with Paul and Cornelius in Acts, visions and dreams played a role in the conversion of many. More than one in four respondents, 27 percent, noted dreams and visions before their decision for Christ, 40 percent at the time of conversion, and 45 percent afterward. Many Muslims view dreams as links between the seen and unseen worlds, and pre-conversion visions and dreams often lead Muslims to consult a Christian or the Bible.
Frequently a person in the vision, understood to be Jesus, radiates light or wears white (one respondent, though, said Jesus appeared in green, a color sometimes associated with Islamic holy persons). An Algerian woman had a vision that her Muslim grandmother came into her room and said, "Jesus is not dead; he is here." In Israel, an Arab dreamed that his deceased father said, "Follow the pastor. He will show you the right way." Other dreams and visions occurred later and provided encouragement during persecution. A Turkish woman in jail because of her conversion had a vision that she would be released, and she was. A vision of thousands of believers in the streets proclaiming their faith encouraged a young man in North Africa to persevere."
The same phenomena have been reported in the Hindu world as well.
It is true. The Holy Spirit is in our midst, working in ways that transcend our assumptions of how God works in the world and how people come to Christian faith.
"Then afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Joel 3:1
(This passage is better known as Joel 2:28 in most Protestant Bibles. Catholic translations follow the order of the Hebrew text.)