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TABLETOP TOMB!       DFO 1599       20/8/83

       1. THIS IS A DREAM THAT I HAD EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING JUST BEFORE I WOKE UP, WHICH I MAY CALL THE CHINESE MONUMENT! A group of us, evidently from some of our Homes, I'd say about a couple dozen of us travelling in three or four cars with our children, were driving along this country road on what seemed like a peninsula or a point, surrounded on three sides by water & beaches. It was fairly flat land with small shrubbery & just a few trees, & an area that seemed quite remote. I don't recall any farms around or nearby villages, but there may have been. The road at the time was completely devoid of any other people & we were sort of exploring an unfamiliar territory.

       2. WE SEEMED TO BE JUST DRIVING ALONG LOOKING FOR A PICNIC SPOT FOR OUR LITTLE GROUP, & as we drove further & further it seemed to be even more remote & more deserted!--Until finally the road came to an abrupt end, or rather I should say its access came to an abrupt end. Because although the road did continue a short space further, across the road was one of these large old-fashioned wooden farm gates, locked securely so that automobiles could not drive any further down the road & with a sign which very definitely said "Dead End!" And because of what happened thereafter, I almost entitled this dream by the same name: "Dead End!--But Bright Beginning!"

       3. BUT ALTHOUGH THE WAY WAS BARRED FOR FURTHER AUTO TRAFFIC, THERE WAS A SMALL WOODEN PEDESTRIAN GATE IN THE FENCE WHICH SURROUNDED THE AREA, WHICH WAS STANDING AJAR RATHER INVITINGLY! And we looked beyond the gates & the fence & in the distance we saw a large round rather flat circular stone or concrete structure of some kind, very low, not more than waist high, & surrounded by just one step not more than perhaps a foot high from the ground, a rather wide step, perhaps half-a-meter wide. The whole great round stone or concrete structure was quite flat on top with no other protuberances or engravings or designations or markings of any kind, except for a few Chinese characters painted on its painted side. The whole monument, which it eventually turned out to be, was painted all over for preservation & had on its side these Chinese characters.

       4. WELL, WE ACCEPTED THE INVITATION OF THE OPEN GATE, all piled out of our vehicles & toddled through the gate & made our way down the rest of the road to where it did come to an end directly in front of this large round monument where we could now see clearly the Chinese characters on its side. Someone with us who could read Chinese said that it was the name of a very famous local philanthropist & community hero, a very wealthy Chinese man who had done a lot for the local community behind. Apparently there was a small town behind us in the distance which we had passed through some ways back, & he had been a local leader of the community & very beneficial to its various social programs etc., with large generous gifts to help its poor.

       5. THIS HAD BEEN A PORTION OF HIS PROPERTY & WAS APPARENTLY HIS GRAVE, & THIS LARGE ROUND FLAT STONE WAS HIS GRAVESTONE!--Very odd & very peculiar, I'd never seen anything like it before! It was almost as large as an average room of say 12 or 15 feet in diameter on top, about four or five meters across. The insignia was painted on the side of the stone, which in all was not more than about a meter high on the side facing the end of the road, his name & the dates of his birth & death, as usual, plus some eulogy regarding his philanthropy & his being a great man.

       6. EVIDENTLY HE HAD EITHER INSTRUCTED HIS HEIRS TO BUILD SUCH A GRAVE FOR HIM, surrounded by this very lovely park which had attracted our eye for our picnic, or they had decided to so honour him because of his graciousness & goodness & kindness to the community. There was nothing at all fancy about it, it was more useful & utilitarian rather than decorative as it was so simple & so plain, just this great round flat rock or concrete structure that seemed almost obviously designed for or at least perfect for the purpose of a picnic table. It was quite a comfortable seat to sit on the edge of it & spread out our table cloths on top of it for our food & materials & to rest our feet on the step below.

       7. SO IT SEEMED IDEAL FOR A PICNIC TABLE & WE PROMPTLY THEREFORE USED IT AS SUCH! We sat happily upon it, our children playing about us as we all were eating & talking & visiting & seemed very happy to have found such a delightful picnic spot! Therefore we were enjoying it immensely & were very grateful for this kind man who had left behind him such a useful monument in his memory which could serve a very useful happy purpose for the living, for their enjoyment & pleasure.

       8. I WAS SITTING THERE THINKING HOW NICE FOR A MAN TO BE SO THOUGHTFUL to have his grave made in this fashion to make it very useful to the living left behind & to his heirs & descendants & the people of the community, so that they might make a useful, beautiful place of his burial ground & actually enjoy what amounted to his tomb by making it a place of pleasure & recreation & usefulness & enjoyment!

       9. SO I BEGAN THINKING ABOUT THIS GOOD MAN WHO APPARENTLY HAD BEEN GREATLY APPRECIATED BY THIS COMMUNITY FOR HIS KINDNESS & BENEVOLENCE, & was thinking surely a good man such as this must have pleased the Lord & deserved some good reward in the Hereafter. And as I was thinking about his kindly & generous life & his final fate, I was wondering just what could have happened to him after his death, what could have been his reward in the Hereafter? He was obviously Chinese as far as we knew, according to the tombstone & its inscription, & was not necessarily a Christian as there were no Christian emblems such as crosses etc. thereon, & perhaps he had evidently not known the Lord or maybe even heard the Gospel.

       10. AND AS I PONDERED ON THESE THOUGHTS, IT SUDDENLY CAME TO ME, "IT'S NOT TOO LATE, YOU COULD DELIVER HIM AS YOU HAVE OTHERS BEFORE THROUGH PRAYER!" By this time we'd finished our happy picnic & lunch & the children were playing on the grass amongst the few trees nearby & the folks were sitting in little various groups about the edge of the platform-like gravestone. And I had the sudden inspiration then, "Yes, we could free him now! If he's bound, perhaps he's still bound to this place!"

       11. THOUGH ENJOYING THE VIEW OF OTHERS WHO ARE NOW FINDING PLEASURE & RECREATION IN HIS GRAVESITE, IT WAS MOST OF THE TIME A RATHER LONELY SPOT & NO ONE THERE, & even at this time, no one was there but us. There were no other visitors present when we arrived & none had come while we were there, so it seemed to be a rather lonely deserted place for his spirit--if it were still hovering about as I had the feeling it was--& it was almost as though he were pleading with me in spirit to free him as we had others in our prayers, such as the boys in "Flanders Field", "The Chinese Cemetery", "The Singapore Sailor" & some others. (See Nos. 368, 1264, 1262.)

       12. SO IMMEDIATELY I CALLED TO THE OTHERS & SAID, "THIS APPARENTLY WAS A GOOD MAN WHO WAS TRYING TO DO WHAT WAS RIGHT & help his community & its people & its poor, & even in his death he left a benefit to the living in providing this rather odd picnic table as his legacy to the living, so that even his tomb could be useful to those who followed after. It seems to me that this man is worthy of our prayers for his well-being in the Hereafter, & if bound here yet, as I have the impression, we should gather around together & pray for his release & his reward worthy of such well-doing!"

       13. I SAID, "COME ON, LET'S JOIN HANDS AROUND THE TOMB!"--SO WE DID! We stood upon the step which surrounded the main stone, & there were just about enough of us with the children to completely circle it with hands joined, facing it as we began to pray, as we so often do in our prayers, joining hands in a circle, feeling that spirit of unity in both flesh & spirit & a united strength & power sometimes like electricity flowing through us, having made the contact & the connection with our hands from one to the other in a continuous circle symbolising the unending eternity of the Hereafter, a circle being endless & encompassing all within!

       14. SO THERE WE STOOD, HANDS JOINED ON THE STEP AROUND THE TOMB, & I LIFTED UP MY VOICE IN SINCERE & ARDENT PRAYER FOR THIS DEAR DEPARTED SOUL who had been such a good man & tried to do his best for others & his community & had even left this heritage of this large tomb for a picnic table in this small park, which was his cemetery, & had made it open & useful to the public as such. So we all prayed earnestly together for this man's soul!

       15. I SAID, "LORD, IF FOR ANY REASON HE HAS BEEN BOUND HERE & HAD TO REMAIN AT THIS ISOLATED SPOT, even though occasionally enjoying the pleasure of those he's left behind who have appreciated his thoughtfulness in providing this large picnic table for groups, nevertheless most of the time this is a very lonely desolate spot. If for any reason he had to stay here because he had not actually heard the Gospel or received You as his Saviour & has been waiting for whatever his fate is or to be released in whatever way, Lord, for the sake of this man's righteousness & his having done those things which are according to Thy Law of Love, even though he may not have known of it nor of Thee, Lord, have mercy on him! If he is still restricted to this area, surely he has been here long enough to contemplate his life & past & deeds & perhaps regret & repent of some of the things which may not have been as he wished.

       16. "HAVE MERCY, LORD! DELIVER HIM! RELEASE HIM, IF IT BE THY WILL & ACCORDING TO THY LOVE & GRACE! Surely now he knows & has heard Thy Gospel in that next World which surrounds us even now & is only a breath away & in which we live & move, although many realise it not, the Spirit World which pervades this one & all therein! Lord, if it be within Thy plan & within Thy mercy to deliver him & relieve him of this burden of having to stay here, even though to enjoy watching those who enjoy his gravesite, surely he has been here long enough, according to these dates, & has perhaps been penitent for any misdeeds or any failures in his former life through whatever he has learned in the afterlife hovering here about his little cemetery & watching the people who have come to enjoy it. He has certainly had satisfaction in feeling that he has done good & been beneficent & a benefactor to the community & he has surely gotten to reap some of the good deeds which he has performed for others simply in watching them enjoy his little cemetery as a beautiful little picnic park for families."

       17. I WENT ON EARNESTLY PRAYING THAT THE LORD WOULD HAVE MERCY & RELEASE HIM & DELIVER HIM as the Lord has in times past in other cases, such as the boys in Flander's Field & the Chinese Cemetery, the Singapore Sailor & others. I begged the Lord to have mercy upon him & remember his good deeds & his righteousness & his mercy on others. The Lord says, "He that remembereth the poor in his affliction, him the Lord shall remember in the hour of his trouble." (Ps.41:1)

       18. SO I CLAIMED PROMISES & URGENTLY, ARDENTLY, FERVENTLY PRAYED THE LORD WOULD RELEASE HIM, deliver him & let him go to some higher plane, a better place where he would have more fellowship & spend his time more profitably & beneficially perhaps even to others, either some Paradise of Hades or some higher plane whose destiny might be the New Earth. I begged the Lord to remember his good deeds & his righteousness, & if it be possible, to deliver him & release him from this lonely spot & let him go.

       19. AND SUDDENLY I SAW HIS FACE HOVERING ABOVE THE CENTER OF THE TOMBSTONE & above our heads & about half his body from the waist up, smiling happily & waving as though in farewell, & then he disappeared! And I began to shout & praise the Lord & thank Jesus for His mercy & His love & His deliverance, & they all began to shout with me, sensing that we had won the victory & the Lord had answered our prayer! I was thrilled & excited about the wonderful miracle that the Lord had again done for a poor soul in bondage & certainly deserving, this seeming saint who had been so kind to others & his community, & so thoughtful even in his departure as to leave behind a legacy of usefulness & delight for families & community groups to use even his tomb as a useful picnic table for their fiestas, festivities, social groups & family outings.

       20. I THEN TOLD THE FAMILY WHAT I HAD JUST SEEN, THAT I SAW HIM HOVERING ABOVE OUR HEADS above the center of the circular tomb, & then waving in farewell as though he were thanking us for our prayer! And everybody shouted & praised the Lord & thanked the Lord enthusiastically, inspired with the Lord's wonderful leading & appreciation of His mercy & His kindness & His Love for the lost--this one now no longer lost, but found by Jesus & only waiting for our coming & our prayers to release him! TTL!

       21. THIS DELIGHTFUL DELIVERY WAS ALMOST LIKE THE BIRTH OF A CHILD, THE BIRTH OF A NEW SOUL INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Although delivered sometimes in pain, afterward the pain is forgotten in the delight of a new soul born into this World, & the same, only greater, joys experienced at the birth of a new spirit into the Kingdom of God! In fact, it says in the Scriptures that all Heaven rejoices & all the angels rejoice more over one lost sheep that's found, each soul saved, than over all the ninety-&-nine & all the rest who are already saved & rescued! (Lk.15:7)

       22. SO WE WERE JUST FINISHING OUR PRAYER & SHOUTING THANKSGIVING & BEGINNING TO CLEAR UP OUR THINGS & PACK UP, ETC., & some of us were sitting around on the edge of the tomb enjoying a little Family fellowship & chatting & visiting, when suddenly we heard a car in the distance drive up to the gate & park as we had & a little Chinese family piled out. In fact, it must have been two cars because they were a group almost as large as ours, two or three families, & they also came through the little open gate chatting & children shouting happily as they ran toward us & toward the tomb table, or table tomb, as they brought their picnic baskets with them & trudged down the little path toward the little cemetery park.

       23. AS THEY CAME CLOSE THEY NODDED & GREETED US & SMILED POLITELY AS THE ORIENTALS ARE SO WONT TO DO, being so hospitable & friendly & always courteous & polite & always greeting with great nodding & bowing & respect for each other. We greeted them as well in like manner & moved over to one side of the table so they could have the other side & remained for a few moments while we chatted with them. I really don't recall whether we were speaking in English, but some of us must have been, & then others were also interpreting for us what some of them said in Chinese.

       24. WE ASKED THEM ABOUT THIS MAN & WHO HE WAS ETC., ALTHOUGH WE HAD ALREADY HEARD SOME ABOUT HIM, & THEY THEN WERE THE ONES WHO TOLD US WHAT A GREAT MAN HE HAD BEEN & what a blessing to their community, the little village some distance up the road, & how kind he had been & how he had risen in his influence in the community. As he grew in wealth, he did not keep it for his own selfish purposes or power, but had shared it generously with others & with the community & various useful helpful projects, industrial ventures etc. that employed others, & had been a great benefactor & a great blessing, a real saint to his hometown. They told how much they loved him & appreciated him & what a wonderful man he was & how sad they were to see him go, but how that even in his death he had provided pleasure & enjoyment for others in providing his tomb as a huge picnic table for the fellowship & recreation of feasting families thereon.

       25. WE REMARKED WHAT A UNIQUE IDEA IT WAS & THERE WAS NOTHING WE'D EVER SEEN TO EQUAL THIS USEFUL TOMB which had been made & fashioned in the form of such a very very large round gravestone as to be useful as a picnic table, obviously for that purpose. And they said, yes, of course, it was certainly an unusual idea & just like the man who had apparently designed it for that purpose to leave there as a legacy to his heirs & family & friends & the community in which he had lived, as well as being open to foreigners & strangers such as we who were at this time enjoying it also.

       26. SO WE WERE ALL CHATTING HAPPILY & PRAISING THIS MAN FOR HIS GOODNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS, KINDNESS & CONSIDERATION & they seemed very glad that we appreciated their local hero & that again he was being praised & remembered & honoured as is so typical of the Orientals, such as the Chinese & Japanese in particular, who virtually worship their ancestors, both the dead & the living, highly respecting & honouring their parents & grandparents who are still living & giving them great tender loving care & consideration, it being a great sin, if not an actual crime, in any way to neglect your parents!--Even the laws of those lands making sure that the elderly are cared-for & protected & provided-for & given great consideration!

       27. --UNLIKE SOME COUNTRIES WE KNOW WHERE THE CHILDREN SIMPLY TRY TO GET RID OF THEIR PARENTS & either neglect them or shove them off in some nursing home or far-away place so that they don't have to be bothered with them or worried about them & where the poor parents or grandparents or the elderly no longer have the fellowship of their families & grandchildren & the happy home atmosphere of former times--such is the great difference between East & West! As one famous writer wrote: "East is East & West is West, & never the 'twain shall meet!" I think that was Rudyard Kipling.

       28. AND THOUGH IT SEEMS TODAY THAT THEY HAVE MET, CERTAINLY THEY ARE STILL POLES APART WHEN IT COMES TO SOME CUSTOMS & BEHAVIOUR CHARACTERISTICS, particularly their politeness & courtesy & deference & respect both to strangers & visitors, & their great honour & respect of parents & grandparents & almost worship of their ancestors. In these things they're very unlike the more violent West, so-called "Christian" West who are now not very Christian after all!--The Orientals behaving more like Christians & acting more like Christians & having a more seemingly sweet humble attitude & spirit than many so-called Western Christians.

       29. IT HAS BEEN MUCH MORE PLEASANT TO DWELL WITH MANY OF THEM, AS WE HAVE FOUND IN THE EAST, THAN WITH SOME OF OUR VIOLENT, CARELESS, THOUGHTLESS, INCONSIDERATE NEIGHBOURS IN THE WEST who seem money-mad & concerned only about themselves & their own selfish families & homes, & the Devil take the rest!--The usual Western attitude is in such strong contrast to the thoughtful, respectful, considerate attitude of the Orientals for each other, by & large, the vast majority of them being more polite & courteous & respectful & considerate in attitude toward each other & to strangers such as us.

       30. SO WE MARVELLED AT THESE WONDERFUL ORIENTAL PEOPLE, IN THIS CASE THE CHINESE, & THIS GREAT SAINT OF THEIRS, & WE WERE SO THANKFUL THAT WE HAD BEEN HELPFUL TO RELEASE HIM TO HIS REWARD IN ANSWER TO PRAYER! We, of course, did not reveal this or discuss this with these Chinese picnickers, as we felt they probably wouldn't understand it, but we packed up & left rejoicing, thankful to the Lord that He'd again used us to be helpful to a departed soul, in this case virtually a departed saint!--Although he had apparently not before known the Lord or received the Gospel or perhaps even heard it in this life, nevertheless a good man who was deserving & worthy of being released & delivered from his gravesite.

       31. SO WE WERE VERY THANKFUL AS WE PRAISED THE LORD & THANKED THE LORD & HAD BEEN VIRTUALLY SHOUTING FOR JOY AT THE LORD'S SWEET, MERCIFUL LOVING ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS! We were just really having a good time & feeling good & thanking the Lord for what He had done as we quietly packed up & prepared to leave the site!--And with that I woke up, feeling very good & having a wonderful, pleasant, satisfying feeling of joy & rejoicing, having had a very happy dream about a very wonderful occurrence!

       32. WHERE IN THE WORLD IT WAS, I DON'T KNOW!--Whether it was actually someplace bordering China or nearby. Since the others were Chinese & the grave was Chinese, it could have been on Chinese territory or one of the many many places in the East that are highly-populated with Chinese outside of China itself. So I don't know exactly where it could have been, but it could have been a number of different places. And I don't know whether any of you have ever seen such a grave or not or know of such a man, but at least the Lord knew, & even if He only sent us in our dreams to enjoy that site & pray for his deliverance, God knows how to do mighty wondrous miracles & He often works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform! Even if He has to send us in the spirit in a dream to some site or location where He wants us to perform a service for Him & for others, He's able to do that.

       33. I'M CONVINCED IN MY OWN HEART THAT THAT PLACE MUST BE SOMEWHERE IN THIS WORLD BECAUSE IT WAS SO REAL TO ME IN THE DREAM & I can remember it just as realistically now as if I were actually there!--And I must have been actually there in spirit & we must have been together there in spirit during the night as we slept together! The Lord had done a mighty miracle His wonders to preform, working in such a mysterious way as to even use us in our dreams as He so often has! TTL! PTL! Hallelujah! TYJ! In Jesus' name, amen! May He use YOU in YOUR dreams!

       34. HAVE YOU HAD SOME BEAUTIFUL DREAM ABOUT SOMETHING WONDERFUL THAT THE LORD HAS DONE IN THAT MARVELLOUS MYSTERIOUS MIRACULOUS LAND OF YOUR DREAMS? If so, why don't you tell us about it & give the Lord the glory! Has He used you in your dreams to help or encourage someone as He so often has us & sometimes you, that you have told us about? May the Lord bless you & keep you & continue to use you, not only in your daily living but even in your nightly sleeping, helping you to minister even in your dreams! Amen?--In Jesus' name, amen! PTL! TYJ!--Have you seen this Tabletop Tomb?

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family