Sami (noun) – Elevated
Sami rolled over, away from the late morning sun, and wondered what motivating thought would get him out of bed today. Friends, good food, driving around the city, time on the internet? There was little purpose to his daily activities, and the only result was a growing unease that he was missing something important. He knew it was time to begin a career. But in Iran, the youth were not told, “Do what you love.” No, they were expected to make money, follow the family business, and do what would bring a sense of financial security.
Sami loved cars and people. What kind of career was he going to find involving cars and people?
The distant clink of tea glasses being set on a tray arrested his ears. His mother was preparing breakfast, and his stomach growled at the thought. He jumped out of bed to get ready for the day. He was just spraying on his cologne when his sister Elham knocked on his door.
“Breakfast is ready, Sami,” she called sweetly.
Sami entered the warmth of the kitchen and saw his parents and sister pouring over a book at the table. It wasn’t a newspaper or a magazine. Perhaps it was a book from one of the poets his mother loved so much. As he sat at the table, his mother poured his tea and smiled radiantly. Wow! Now that smile was a new sight to see.
His father read aloud: “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”
Sami spread creamy cheese over his lavash and added a bit of jam. “Which poet said that?” He asked around a mouthful.
His father looked up quickly and replied, “It wasn’t a poet; it was Jesus. This passage is from the Injil.”
“What did Jesus mean by living water?” asked Elham excitedly.
“Wait,” interrupted Sami. “Jesus? The Injil?”
No one paid any attention to his outburst. Sami’s father answered Elham, “Well the verse continues here: ‘Jesus said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit…’” Sami’s father held one of Elham’s hands and one of his mother’s. “The new life we have through Jesus is like drinking water after a long journey in a dry desert. When we believe in Him, we receive the living water.” His mother nodded.
Sami was flabbergasted! Dumbfounded even! What in the world were his parents and sister talking about?!?
“So, we will receive God’s Spirit? I think I felt something like that in my vision. When Jesus laid his hand on my head, I felt this warmth flow down every part of my mind and heart. It was amazing!” Elham was breathless.
Sami started to cough so he wouldn’t choke on his lavash. “You had a vision, Elham? About the Prophet Jesus? When?”
His sister looked at him steadily, as did his parents. “Not about the Prophet Jesus, Sami… About Jesus, the Son of God.”
Sami bolted upright. In confusion, he realized he was still in his pajamas, in his bed, in his room. Had it all been a dream? It had felt so real! His father reading, his sister’s excitement, his mother smiling… it seemed like it all actually happened!
Just then, Sami heard the distant clink of tea glasses being set on a tray.
“Sami,” his sister’s sweet voice called at the door, “Breakfast is ready.”
It had been a dream! But what did it mean? Persians did not take dreams lightly. They looked for meaning in them and often found direction for their lives.
Sami put his robe on but didn’t bother with his usual routine of vanity. Suddenly, it seemed of little importance. When he came to the doorway of the kitchen, he waited, unseen, and tried to calm down. He was almost certain he would see what he had dreamed: his parents and Elham pouring over a book on the table.
He slowly peeked around the doorway, and there they were, exactly as he had dreamed! Sami was unaware of when he decided to walk in. His mother turned to him, smiled radiantly, and poured his tea. Sami felt like his world, his reality, was tilting.
Elham looked at him with a worried expression on her face, “You don’t look so well, Sami. Are you OK? What’s wrong?”
Sami took a deep breath and said, “You… did you have a vision… of Jesus?”
Silence. Everything stopped – the chewing, the quiet chatter, the tea sipping, and the cheese spreading. Sami was worried that his family was now going to think he was crazy. Was he?
Elham stood up from the table and seemed to hesitate, “I did, Sami. I just told Mom and Dad all about it. But… how did you know? Did you hear me talking?”
“No,” he shook his head, “I dreamed it.”
Now, Sami’s mother jumped to her feet. His father closed his eyes for a moment.
“What was your dream about?” Elham asked she stepped closer.
“This,” Sami motioned to them and to the book on the table. “That – It’s an Injil, isn’t it?” His voice wasn’t accusing but held a mixture of fear and curiosity.
His father placed his hand over the book and simply said, “Yes.”
Sami nodded. It was all true. “I dreamed I came out here to the kitchen and you were all reading from this book, from the Injil. And… Elham was describing her vision about Jesus. How He put his hand on her head and she felt warmth.”
Elham clasped her hands under her chin at this and her eyes filled with tears as she nodded.
“And then… “ Sami looked at his parents in wonder. “Elham told me Jesus was the Son of God.”
At this, Sami’s Mother and sister looked at their father with raised eyebrows. His father smiled and nodded.
“Come, sit down, Sami. All of you, please sit. Clearly, God has prepared all our hearts to listen. Let me share with you what God has revealed to me.”
Sami’s father opened the little book and started reading out loud to them.
“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”
Elham eagerly asked, “What was Jesus talking about? What is the living water?”
Sami answered without thinking, “It is God’s Spirit we receive when we believe.” At their awestruck looks, he laughingly followed with, “And that was the end of my dream. I promise I have no idea what is coming next.”
Sami’s mother patted his hand, “I do. We will become a family of hope. A family of love. A family of purpose.”
How Can We Pray?
Sami’s dream prepared his heart for what God was already doing in his family. This kind of story may seem far-fetched and idealistic; however in reality, dreams are significant within the Persian culture. Many Iranians who come to Christ meet Jesus in a dream.
Based on conversations and interactions with thousands of Iranians annually, our team often claims that over 80% of the Christian Iranians that they meet have had a dream somewhere along their journey to salvation. Please pray with us that miraculous dreams and visions would break down spiritual strongholds and open peoples’ hearts for salvation.