Many years ago I had a dream. This was the most wonderful dream I'd ever had, and also the worst.

This dream had a "feel" that was different than my usual dreams - almost vision-like. Vivid.

I found myself in heaven. All of humanity was gathered together, and those of us who were known by Jesus were all preparing for a procession into God's presence. We were all given white garments to wear by angels who were walking among us. Some of us were given golden cords to wear which indicated a special honor.

I was also given a golden cord, which I felt completely unworthy to wear. But that is the kind of God we serve - He gives honor and gifts to those who are not worthy of them. But the main thing I felt was relief. Relief that I had remained faithful to Him throughout my life. Relief that the fight against the sin within me was finally over! I can't express the joy I felt at that moment. Like I said, this was the most wonderful dream I ever had!

But then I noticed an area off to the side, where there were people without white robes. This was a holding area for those who were not known by Jesus. I was absolutely horrified to find that the woman I love, my dear wife, was in this area. She saw me and tried to be encouraging to me by hiding her own sadness. It was horrible! There she was, facing the Judge from Whom there was no appeal, no hope of escape or pardon. It broke my heart. I seriously considered leaving my robes behind and joining her on the other side. But how could I turn my back on God now? And she was trying so hard to be brave and congratulatory.

Realizing that I hadn't seen my son, a toddler at the time, I asked her if she had seen him. She replied "he didn't make it either".

That was the final straw and I suddenly awoke in a cold sweat. My mind was awhirl with thoughts as I tried to process what I had dreamt. I knew that God was not telling me the final destination of my wife or son - that is simply not something He would do. I was certain that He was telling me something. But what? After a long while I eventually fell back into a dreamless sleep.

I spent all of the next day trying to figure out what it all meant. On the following morning, the Spirit finally gave me understanding. He simply said, "As much as you love your wife and son - I love everyone more."

Suddenly things became so much more clear. I had considered reaching out to the lost as a duty - my Christian responsibility. Now I realized that the eternal loss of a soul wasn't something I'd wish even on my worst enemy. Reaching out to the lost was now an act of love and mercy. What kind of monster would I be if I did nothing to try to dissuade someone from the path of destruction?