The Conversion of John
There was a man named John who did not know God, but his mother had great faith and prayed for her son daily. One night John had a dream, he was taken out of this world and found himself in a large crystal building with four doors before him marked, Love, hope, faith and charity. John sensed he was there to learn of these things, he knew nothing of faith and little of hope and love, so thinking he knew most about what charity was he entered this door first. Within he saw a vision of God the Father looking down upon the world He had created. God had given mankind His law that they should live in peace and grow in love, but mankind had been stubborn and had not followed the way of love.
Tears were flowing from the Fathers eyes as He made the painful decision to send down to this cruel world His only son, Jesus, to teach these people how to love and to make an offering of Himself for their transgressions. John saw and understood that the Father loved nothing more than His son and that delivering Him into the hands of His enemies was the greatest charitable act possible. John had, until now, thought that he had understood what it was to be charitable, but this was a charity beyond his comprehension.
Next, John entered the door marked faith, he had never had faith in anything that he could not see or understand for himself – he wondered what he would find. Behind this door, he saw a vision of a humble young woman busy with her daily work. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared before her and gave her the news that she was to become the mother of God’s child who would save the world from its sin. Now this young woman had an understanding of the scriptures. She knew the prophecies relating to the Messiah, how he would suffer and die to save His people.
She knew also that the mother of this child would have great sorrows. Her life was about to be turned upside-down, nothing would ever be the same again, but she did not hesitate; through complete faith in the love and goodness of her God, she replied: “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according of your word.” John could now see what it meant to have complete faith as he watched this humble maid give herself completely and unconditionally to God without fear or question.
Next, John entered the door marked Hope. Within he found a baby lying in a manger. He saw the three wise men bringing gifts and also a group of shepherds who were relating their experience in the field, how an angel had told them of the good news, that the Christ child was born. In all, John saw joy and wonder, he saw love and fellowship, but there was something more … he saw hope. The eyes of the people were glistening with hope for a brighter future, a whole new world – the kingdom of God!
Now, with some understanding of hope, John entered the last door, the one marked love. He was expecting to see such a joyful scene, such bliss, but what he saw made him freeze on the spot. Before his eyes was the Son of God nailed to a cross, crowned with thorns. His face was almost unrecognisable, beaten and covered with blood, dust and spittle. His body was one wound, blood fell from the crown of thorns on His head and from his entire body.
This blood fell to the ground and John was aware that it became an atonement poured out to heal the world. As the Son of God hung there fighting for each breath, John heard some words from his lips, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” John knew that this man, naked and beaten, was the Son of God and that he had chosen this punishment and taken it upon Himself for the sake of the world, in an act of love that could not be more perfect. This was love, the most powerful force in the world, stronger than death – the essence of life!
When John awoke he had been given a new heart. Upon seeing such a revelation of God’s love he had been converted, he was now able to love both God and neighbour in a new way. His mother’s prayers had been answered.