Several months ago, I had a dream that may have saved the life of one of my children. Soon afterward, I recounted the incident to one of my friends and I’ll share that note here.
A miracle happened to us Sunday. Early that morning I had a nightmare. In that dream I was leaving a building with several people when I found a green pushpin in my hand. I was being hurried with the other people and didn’t want to carry the pushpin with me so I stuck it in the wall next to me. At first I was unsure to do this, but then I saw many pushpins already in the wall so I left mine with all of the others.
Soon in the same dream I found myself and my family on a walk outside. We turned left onto an overgrown trail next to the water. In front of us further down the trail was a bridge that passed overhead. The children had gotten ahead of me and I warned them to be very watchful for snakes. We then immediately saw a garter snake which I pointed out to the children. I told them it was common and harmless and showed them how to identify it. I then turned around and saw that the girls had picked up another harmless snake and were playing with it. We continued walking, but very soon I saw a pigmy rattlesnake crawl by us and then a timber rattlesnake, which I killed with a 6″ long stick in my hand, the only stick I could find. Soon there were water moccasins and rattlesnakes all around me and the panicking children. I picked up Elijah under one arm and started hitting at the snakes with the half-foot stick when I woke up around 4:30 AM and couldn’t fall back asleep.
When I got up, Kathy woke. I apologized for stirring her and told her about my nightmare.
Later that day, the computer running our Internet cell modem was acting up so I went into the apartment bedroom to reset it. After I had done so, I turned around and noticed a green pushpin that I had never seen before on a table next to the bed. I looked at it closely and lifted up the papers next to it and found many more pushpins. The green pushpin was exactly like the one in my dream. This unsettled me a little.
Sunday was beautiful so we wanted to get the children out of the house. I wanted to go to the park and throw the Frisbee, but Kathy suggested that we visit the Cossatot visitor center and then take a hike. I agreed.
When we got to the visitor center, I noticed a live garter snake in a terrarium, one of only four or five live exhibits. After I showed the snake to Elijah, I turned around and was startled to see the girls holding a milk snake. I took a few pictures of them playing with the snake, but was, of course, reminded about my nightmare. After the girls gave the snake back to the woman working at the center, I noticed hiking sticks for sale at the same counter. Disturbed by my nightmare, I decided to get Hattie, Winnie and Elijah hiking sticks since they did not have their own sticks yet. Hiking sticks are are very useful around here for safety and protection, particularly against snakes.
We left the visitor center when Kathy suggested that we walk down to the river. We arrived there, crossed the low foot bridge to the other side and noticed a narrow riverside trail to the left that penetrated through cane thickets mangled by the recent floods. The trail led underneath a bridge that passed high overhead. The children bolted down the trail when Kathy immediately reminded me about my dream. I then shouted to the children to be very careful and watch cautiously for snakes. I told them about my dream and was recounting the things that had happened that day when Hattie, who was leading us with her new walking stick in hand, yelled to me that she found a snake on the trail a few feet in front of her. I ran up to her and saw a water moccasin stretched lengthwise down the trail in a spot that was almost completely overgrown.
Aggressive and unafraid of people, water moccasins are the worst snakes to encounter under such circumstances because they would rather bite you than flee.
Of course, we turned around and left.
However, if I had not had the nightmare which woke me up early that morning, if I had not told Kathy about it, if I had not been reminded of the dream throughout the day and therefore motivated to take it seriously, if I had not purchased the walking sticks, if Kathy had not reminded me of the nightmare when we got on the trail, if all of this had not happened then it is likely if not certain that one of the children would have stepped on the water moccasin and been bitten.
This is not the first time miracles like this have happened to me, and that’s why Kathy took my dream so seriously. I’ve asked myself why God speaks to me this way and I believe it is largely because I believe in Him and listen to Him.