Transfixed by His Gaze



I know what Stephen felt when he looked into heaven (Acts 7:55-56).


This is what happened to me during a counseling session:


I entered the scene, becoming the young child again. I felt myself lying on my back on a cold, hard surface. The room was dim. Several men stood surrounding me. I saw them only as threatening, frightening dark figures. I didn’t know what would happen. I did know I didn’t want to be there.


“Let me go! I want to go home!” My tears had no effect. They would do what they wished.  They held all the power.

I closed my eyes and tried to stop crying. Tried to be brave. Tried to listen.

footprints in sandI finally heard someone speak clearly, but this voice was not what I had expected. “Look to Me,” he said. How could anyone sound so gentle, yet so commanding? How could trust be summoned with only three words?

I looked up. Somehow I saw past the group of men, past the ceiling, past the sky. I looked straight into heaven. Jesus stood there. And He looked at me. Not through me, as the men did. Not a dismissive glance. A riveting, unwavering gaze.

His face filled my vision. Our eyes met. I no longer saw the men or the room. Nothing but His face and those eyes. I felt like He was near enough for me to fall into them.

My physical and emotional pain faded to nothingness. The fear vanished. His eyes held only love and strength.  He infused me with that strength so I could survive the ordeal.

I still knew the evil men were doing something to me, but it was too far away for me to perceive. My body was on earth, but I was connected to heaven and to the One who created all things.

starry night

Jesus didn’t speak again. He didn’t have to. His eyes said it all. He loved me. He was there for me. My own strength was gone, but His was sufficient.

Now I am able to minister to other dissociative people. I understand their fears of being delusional or some kind of freak. I’m amazed that I can share my experiences and feel no more pain. And I can teach them what I have learned: Jesus cares deeply about our suffering.

He will never directly interfere with man’s free will and the choice to hurt others, but Jesus is always there to support and strengthen us.

Though our pain hurts Him, too, His love is infinite and His strength is ours for the asking.


all illustrations courtesy of