Elham (noun) – Revelation
Elham knew her parents needed to be alone. She had felt the tension between them the night before, and she also noticed their looks during family dinner. At 14 years old, people often told her she was insightful.
But her experience at the Imam Reza Shrine was beyond ‘insightful’. It was none other than a vision from God.
Elham sat on her bed and reached for her cell phone out of habit. She normally talked to her friends via Viber after dinner, but tonight, she just stared at the screen, unsure. Weird – why did she hesitate? Didn’t she need her friends now more than ever? Perhaps it was because she had no words. In some ways, the vision was too beautiful to share, and in other ways, it was too controversial, even dangerous. She wasn’t necessarily concerned about herself, and her family had never burdened her with crippling fear, but even so, she was aware of the consequences for conversion. Besides, some of her friends came from more conservative families.
She tossed her phone on the bed and tried to lay down to sleep. With the lights off and the moon glowing through her bedroom window, Elham thought again about the vision. Jesus, she mused with a full heart. She could still see the look of love in His eyes, feel the warmth of His hand upon her head, smell the fragrance that flowed from the wound in His hand, and hear the authority in His Voice when he gave a reason for His love.
“Because I made you,” He had said.
This simple reason changed everything about Elham’s faith. Islam had it all wrong! Jesus was much more than a prophet. Those words also meant that her family had it wrong, and they needed to know. Jesus was so much more than any of them had realized!
Joy bubbled up as questions filled her mind: Did Jesus really create this world? Why does a beautiful fragrance flow like oil from His wound? Why did He place His hand upon my head? How can I know more about His love?
Elham got out of her bed, went to her dresser, and removed her prayer mat. Carefully, she placed it in a patch of moonlight, knelt upon it, and waited. She would not pray the Muslim Arabic prayers, but she would pray. A needle of anticipation shot through her heart. She had never prayed anything outside of the Islamic recitations before. However, now she simply wanted to be with the God who gave her a vision.
“God, thank You for giving me a vision. I…” Elham stopped short as she sensed the same close Presence she had felt in her vision. She was speechless and overwhelmed as peace surrounded her. Eventually, she gathered her thoughts and continued. “I want to know if Jesus created me. I think… I know that He did. Somehow, He must be God. I’m sorry I did not know that before.” She bowed her head lower and felt purity fill her. It was like the brightest of lights was filling her and washing away all the darkness. She remembered the warmth that flowed from the touch of Jesus in her vision. “Thank You for placing Your hand on me in my vision. I think I know what it means: you are giving me something to do. Do you want me to tell my family what You showed me?” Love exploded in her heart. She wanted to do whatever God asked her to do.
Elham took a deep breath and imagined herself talking to her mother. She tried to picture how the conversation should go, what she would say, and how her mother would react. In nervous excitement, she wondered if she should just do it now. Should she interrupt her parents’ important conversation? Elham wasn’t sure, but she wrapped herself in her long robe and slipped out of the room. The hallway was dark except for a golden light coming from the kitchen. She heard her parents’ hushed voices and stepped behind the kitchen doorframe to see them. Their hands were clasped together on the table and their heads were almost touching as they spoke quietly. She decided not to interrupt them; morning would come soon enough.
Elham tiptoed back to her bedroom and noticed her brother’s light on in his bedroom. Instinctively, Elham knew that there was no place in Sami’s heart for the truth of her experience. A deeper reality that everything was changing for her family wrapped around her like an unwanted, oversized coat. New things, even wonderful things were about to happen.
“But with Sami, some challenges are on the road ahead of us,” she whispered to herself.
How Can We Pray?
Elham represents the upcoming generation of Iranians. Her name means both inspiration and revelation:
- Please pray that Jesus would reveal Himself to Elham’s generation. May they seek God and experience His presence in a real, powerful way.
- Pray that the younger generation would lovingly lead their families to Christ and impact their culture significantly as they follow Jesus.