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Clint’s Dream About God’s Jacket

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Photo by Marcus Spiske Clint Bokelman was speaking to a group of Salvation Army staff in Atlanta. He shared a dream he had with them. “In my dream I saw God. His face was as bright as the sun.  And I could see that he was wearing a jacket. It was an old leather jacket, the kind with woolen sl…
By sethbarnes

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Photo by Marcus Spiske

Clint Bokelman was speaking to a group of Salvation Army staff in Atlanta. He shared a dream he had with them.

“In my dream I saw God. His face was as bright as the sun.  And I could see that he was wearing a jacket. It was an old leather jacket, the kind with woolen sleeves. On the back of the jacket it said “U.S.A.” His arms were shafts of light and when he straightened his arms, the light beamed out beyond the cuff of the jacket, because the jacket didn’t fit him.

He’s not an American, neither the label nor jacket fit.

I began seeing all different jackets with different countries on the back: United Kingdom, Spain, China. None of the jackets fit him.

The next series of jackets didn’t make sense, but they were interesting. I saw the word Islam on the back of the jacket, but his arms went past the cuffs again. He’s not a Muslim. I saw Jewish and Mormon jackets, but they didn’t fit him either.

There were two jackets left, and the second to last one was very disturbing. The second to last jacket read “Christianity.” He put the jacket on and I saw his arms bent, he then put his arms out to see if it fit him – and then his arms went past the cuffs. He’s not a Christian, it’s too small, so he took it off.

The last jacket was a Salvation Army jacket.

A couple people began cheering, but I stopped them and said, “Wait a minute, let me finish telling you what I saw.

“I saw God looking at his uniform, and it was exactly your uniform. It was a beautiful navy blue, with red fringes, and beautiful gold buttons. I saw him looking at his sleeves, and he did it again. He put his arms out and the shafts of light went past the sleeves, because he’s not a Salvationist. That’s too small for him. God took it off.”

That’s all I had. That was the end of my dream. I stopped, looked up, and waited to see their reaction. An officer in the back of the room raised his hand and asked, “Clint, is it okay if I share something?”

“Of course.” I told him.

This officer stood up, “This has never happened to me before, but as you were sharing, I had a vision. I saw Jesus going into a thrift store. He was walking through the aisles and looking at the racks of clothes. He came up to this rack of men’s shirts and pulled a shirt off the rack and looked at it. It was the worst shirt on the entire rack. It was tattered and stained, there were tears in it, and it was missing buttons, but that was the one he picked.

He brought it up to the cashier and put it on the counter and the lady at the register checked him out. Jesus paid for the shirt and walked out of the store with the shirt in his hand. Then he put the shirt on, one sleeve at a time. As he did so, all of the stains disappeared. The tears were mended and the tatters gone. The shirt became a starched, brilliant white. It looked perfect.

“In that vision, Jesus showed me that I was the shirt. I was the dirtiest one. The one that was the most torn, broken, and tattered. He picked me, and he bought me, and he restored me.”

People in the audience started to weep. One guy stood up and said, “If God isn’t a Salvationist, then neither am I.” He then took off his jacket and laid it down.

The vision of God trying on the different coats spoke to everyone that day. At first I hadn’t realized the power and reality of what was really happening around me. It seemed as each person listened to this story they were faced with their own decision.

As they began to lay their Salvation Army coats down in the minutes that followed, it became clear that they were giving up their nicely packaged boxes they fit God into. They accepted that God was more than any label they could ever put on him. They began to embrace more of life and more of God. They realized he will not be defined by our ideas.

God isn’t changing our theology as much as he’s showing us that he is God. He is more. Our labels and boxes hinder us from seeing him clearly.

He’s inviting you to lay down the coat you’re wearing and the coat you put on God. He’s inviting you to abandon the labels and embrace what you’ve really been after this whole time: God himself.

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