“God spoke to me in a dream,” New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas said in a post to his Facebook page today, Friday, May 31. He referred to an article published yesterday in Christianity Today which gives an account of his dream that is no less remarkable than several dreams recounted in the Bible.
Metaxas explained the significance of the dream against the backdrop of a chrome fish which his father noticed on the back of a car during the writer’s childhood. His father, who was Greek, explained to his son that the fish was from “the Greek word ixthys, meaning ‘fish’, because the early Christians used this word as an acronym-Iesus Xristos THeos Ymon Sotir. It stood for Jesus Christ Son of God Our Savior. It was their secret symbol.”
Metaxas explained that after a successful sojourn at Yale University where he majored in English, edited the Yale humor magazine and was the Class Day speaker at graduation preceding the main speaker talk show host Dick Cavett, he “was launched into a step-less void, unable to climb toward what I thought I’d wanted to achieve which was success and acclaim as a fiction writer.”
He recalled that the only job he could find was “proofreading chemical manuals and other nonliterary arcana at Union Carbide’s world headquarters. My cubicle was a quarter of a mile from the nearest window. And the password is….Gehenna.”
A critical experience in his journey to “the dream” which transformed his life was an encounter with Ed Tuttle, a bright graphic designer who engaged him on the issue of faith. The future author of “Seven Men: And The Secret of Their Greatness”. Metaxas was at first wary of Tuttle who was older and one of “those born again Christians I had been trained to steer well clear of at Yale.”
One day at lunch Metaxas was offended when Ed said, “Perhaps you don’t really know God as well as you think, Eric.” Metaxas wondered how anyone could claim to know God.
Ed told him to pray that God would reveal himself to him. At the time the future author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” wondered how it made sense for him to pray to a God he wasn’t even sure existed. But in his confusion, he did ask for “some sort of a sign.”
One night near his 25th birthday, Metaxas had the dream. He dreamed he was ice-fishing on Candlewood Park in Danbury, Connecticut with his childhood friend John Tomanio and his father. He gazed into the large hole they had cut into the ice and saw the snout of a fish poking out. He reached down and picked up the fish. As he stared at the fish he realized it not only appeared to be golden in color, it actually was golden. It was a living golden fish, as though he was in a fairy tale.
And Metaxas said he suddenly realized this golden fish was ixthys–Jesus Christ Son of God Our Savior-and that God was “one-upping me in the language of my own symbol system.”
The future author of “Amazing Grace” said, “I realized in the dream that he was real and had come from the other side and now I was holding him there in the bright sunlight and at long last my search was over. And I was flooded with joy.”
At work the next day he told his friend Ed about the dream. He asked Metaxas what it meant. The future writer for “Veggie Tales” replied, “I said that I had accepted Jesus. And when I spoke those words I was flooded with the same joy I had had inside the dream. And I’ve had that joy with me for the past 25 years.”
Anyone interested in receiving free updates of my Western Religions articles may click on the subscribe link above this article. My readers may also follow articles on Twitter, Facebook and Google. Readers may also read my National Places and Faces articles and Wichita Falls Law Enforcement articles on the same social media.