Some dreams are too big for words. This was one of them. As I write this, it is with some small hope that I can communicate the power of this life-altering experience.

One night, having left my more cautious little self asleep on the bed, I entered into a mysterious world of gray, billowing mist. I moved forward into it as though—as though what?—as though I were in a dream because, in actuality, I was.

When the mist settled, I saw a scattering of flat-topped boulders with vaporous tails of fog wafting around their bottoms. It felt as though these unusually large chunks of rock had fallen there a millennium ago from some sacred mountain.

On one of the rocks, someone, or some force, had laid out a seamless garment made of eagle feathers. By the width of the garment’s shoulders, I concluded that it was a man’s robe and that it was meant for someone of importance. I watched myself looking at the robe and shuddered as I heard myself say aloud, “I can wear that!”

Whatever was I thinking?

In the wink of an eye, the robe was on me, a perfect fit. There was a matching feathered skullcap that made my head look like that of a great eagle when viewed from the back. (At this point, I was still the observer in the dream and had a 360 degree viewpoint.)

The wind of change blew. The robe was gone and I was no longer the watcher. I was fully in the landscape of the dream. I could feel the weight of a Bowie knife I held in my hand. With no display of emotion, I cut up one side of my torso, across the top of my chest and down the other side. I cut three marks across the bridge of my nose and made three slices on the back of my hand. I began to bleed profusely.

Then, I screamed bloody murder! I screamed over and over again, “What have I done? God, what have I done?” I screamed for my husband Jerry.

Jerry arrived in the dream scene with pristine, white cloths that had been soaked in water and wrung out. But no sooner would he wrap one of the cool cloths around me than the blood would soak through it. I was dying, surely I was dying.
That’s when I felt it—the presence of God.

This is where words fail. How does one describe the presence of God? Omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent? Yes, all that and the most loving of love I have ever known.

Some say that God is the place where opposites meet; that IT is impersonal and can’t be known. I agree. But I also know that God is all things, and so God is also very personal, very intimate. God is my Beloved.

The presence of God in my dream healed my wounds. But there was a tacit agreement between myself and God that some tiny scars would remain on my right hand as a reminder. There were also promises made by God. Whatever they were, they were completely forgotten by me as I awoke with a start and came flying out of bed in sheer terror.

Omigod, what had just happened? It took several fumbled attempts before I was finally able to pull my dream journal from the night stand drawer and begin to write. The adrenaline rush was such that my hand shook violently. The lead in my mechanical pencil continually snapped off from a too-heavy pressure I couldn’t control. The words in my journal were little more than deeply-indented scratching on the vellum paper.

The magnitude of this dream experience had me pacing the floor for hours: the robe, the hunting knife, Jerry’s failed attempts to stop the flow of blood, thoughts of death, and finally, the presence of God and Its promises. As I paced, I experienced some unnameable emotion that was off the charts. My hands were fisted, my teeth clenched, my stomach knotted. I must have looked like a wild-eyed, crazy woman pounding back and forth across the short expanse of our bedroom.

But don’t be concerned for me, my friend. I’m a spiritual adventurer. When my physical body finally calmed down, I hopped back aboard my sleigh bed and hoped beyond hope that I would fall asleep and it would all happen again! Such was my thirst for God.

I realized later that I’d set myself up for this dream. A few months earlier, I’d read something about God’s slow burning love. I’d spent many weeks obsessing over what the author had meant by those words. I’d asked and asked inwardly for clarification. In the days following this life-altering dream, I came to know, first hand, about the slow burning love of God.

At about twenty minute intervals, for days on end, my body felt like it was on fire from the inside out. The burning would last about ten minutes or so and then fade out only to come back again. It was the holy fire of purification; it was God loving me.

God responds when we ask, sometimes with unexpected results. So ask already. Dig out your deepest questions and place them on the altar of God. Wait for the answers. They will surely come.

If you’re afraid, do it anyway.

Excerpt from THE WOULD BE SAINT available in paperback at

Author's Bio: 

Jo Leonard is a spiritual adventurer. Her passion in life is to share the knowledge she has gathered after a lifetime of searching for God. As a member of ECKANKAR, she has traveled the world presenting consciousness-provoking talks and workshops to other like-minded seekers. A published author, her writings, both non-fiction and fiction alike, are spiritually insightful and inspiring. She currently lives in Occoquan, Virginia with her husband and two Siamese cats and serves as a VP for a commercial printing company near Washington DC. You are most welcome to visit her website and join in the journey at