Betty was a lady in one of the churches where we served as pastors. I was recently asked to return to speak at her funeral.
Betty was a typical but unique individual. She seemed to obsess about everything she loved. And what did she love? She loved camping, baseball and the Lord. They were her top three loves. Naturally, there were other things she loved like her son and her grandkids. But she really loved this top three.
Her son marveled at her because as a young woman, a middle-aged adult, and even as an aging grandparent, Betty loved baseball. She didn’t love to watch it. She loved to play it. She would get right out in the field with her kids and grandkids and play it right along with the family. Her husband didn’t even really like to play; but Betty did.
And Betty was competitive; obsessively competitive. She didn’t just want to play. She wanted to win. She would hit the ball as hard as she could, run as fast as she could around the bases, dive for balls in the field, and taunt her kids and the opposing team with losing.
One day the whole family was on a camping trip, another of Betty’s loves. Betty saw to it that the family brought all the baseball equipment, gloves, bats, balls and bases. There was a field beside the campground and Betty kept prodding her family to get out into the field to play. And finally one afternoon she got her wish.
However, they had no longer gotten the game underway but Betty’s daughter-in-law screamed, “I lost my wedding ring.” Her wedding ring consisted of two rings, the band and the expensive one with the diamond; and it was the expensive one that was missing.
The game came to a screeching halt. Betty’s obsession with baseball immediately turned to search and rescue coordinator. The entire crew spent the next several hours combing the entire field for the missing ring. They searched far into the afternoon and the evening, but there was no trace of the ring. Betty prayed and prayed, and searched and searched; but it was nowhere to be found.
The whole family went to bed that night a little sad and empty because of the loss. The whole camping trip was in danger of being somewhat of a disappointment. Betty went to bed that night in great despair…but praying, “Oh Lord, please help us find the ring.”
That night Betty had a dream. And we all know how dreams can be. They seem to reflect the incidents of our lives, especially in recent days. Such was the case with Betty’s dream. She dreamed all about the camping trip. And she dreamed about playing baseball with her family. And she dreamed about the ring. But the ring part of her dream was different. It seemed real…like a message was being communicated to her. She actually sensed in her dream that the ring was in a certain location in the field in a spot she saw in her mind’s eye.
In the morning, before anyone else was awake and before the sun actually rose above the horizon; Betty rose, put her clothes and shoes on and headed to the precise spot in the field she had dreamed about. She didn’t wander and search. She went straight to the point she saw in her dream, almost as if led by a homing beacon. And there in that exact spot she saw in her dream was the ring.
She picked it up and because it was early, went back to bed without waking the rest of the family. When she awoke an hour or so later, she looked out the window and saw her daughter-in-law in the field looking frantically for her ring.
Quickly Betty put her clothes on again and ran into the field shouting, “Don’t worry. You don’t need to look any more. God helped me to find your ring.”
The whole family marveled. Betty couldn’t explain how she found the single blade of grass that she saw in her dream growing beside the ring, though it was one of ten zillion other blades of grass in the field that all looked exactly like each other. All she knew was that God pointed it out to her in her dream…and then led her there in the morning.
“But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known…Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed.” — Daniel 2:28