In the middle of the night as Demos prayed kneeling on the carpet in his living room, he received a vision.
“The Vision” as told by Demos Shakarian (1952)
“My son, I knew you before you were born. I have guided you every step of the way. Now I am going to show you the purpose of your life.”
Although I remained on my knees, I felt as if I were rising and moving up, away from the living room. Down below me I could see the rooftops of Downey. There were the San Bernardino Mountains, and over there the coast of the Pacific. Now I was high above the earth, able to see the entire country from west to east.
Although I could see so far, I could also see people on the earth – millions and millions of people standing shoulder to shoulder. Then, just as a camera can zoom in at a football game to show first the stadium, then the players, and then the very laces on the football, my vision seemed to move in on these millions. I could see tiny details of thousands and thousands of faces.
And what I saw terrified me. The faces were set, lifeless, and miserable. Though the people stood so close together, shoulders touching, there was no real contact between them. They stared straight ahead, unblinking, unseeing. What a shudder of horror, I realized that they were dead…
The vision changed. Whether the world was turning, or whether I was traveling around it, I didn’t know. But now beneath me was the continent of South America. Then on to Africa, Europe, Asia. Once more the startling close-ups occurred, and everywhere it was the same. Brown faces, black faces – every one rigid, wretched, each locked in his own private death.
“Lord!” I cried,” What’s the matter with them! Lord, help them!”
“My son, what you see next is going to happen very soon.”
The earth was turning – or I was moving around it – a second time. Below me again were millions upon millions of men. But what a difference! This time heads were raised. Eyes shone with joy. Hands were lifted towards heaven. These who had been so isolated, each in his prison of self, were linked in a community of love and adoration. Asia, Africa, and America – everywhere – death had turned to life.
And the Vision was over. I felt myself returning to my living room…