An Eerie Dream

[March 17, 2020]

Frederica Here and Now podcast recording of this dream

One aspect of getting older, for me, is that I don’t remember my dreams as well as I used to—there are just little scraps of dreams that fly away when I wake up. But last spring I had a dream that, even while I was having it, I knew it was important to remember it. Even as the dream was ending, I was already counting up the points I needed to recall.

In my dream, we all knew we were going to die. Everyone in the world was going to die. A cloud of air bearing very fine, sharp particles was slowly encircling the earth; when people inhaled, it infiltrated the lungs, piercing the cells and destroying them. There was no way to stop the advance of this fog, and its effects were incurable. Wherever this fog had gone, it had killed the entire population. This cloud was gradually encircling the entire world, and eventually it would reach America.

Everyone in our local community knew this was coming. But somehow my husband and I knew that it was coming much faster than others expected. In fact, it was now very near.

I remember four scenes from this dream:

+ One, there was a naturally-occurring oil that could alleviate the pain, though it couldn’t prevent death—maybe delay it a little. A neighbor was happily telling me he had discovered a source for this oil on his property. He showed me in the palm of his hand the clear, slippery liquid. He explained that he was going to bottle it and ship it all over the world, charging high prices and making a lot of money. All for free, because he found it right there in his back yard.

I pitied him, because it seemed obvious to me that, once when word got out that it had been found here, people would descend from all directions and just take it for themselves. I said to my friend, “But don’t you think they will all just move here?”

+ Two, a public worship service was being held in an attractive, traditional-looking church. There weren’t many people at the service; perhaps it was just for the leaders of the community. My husband had been invited to participate, and as he delivered the prayers he’d written I noticed that they had a common theme: he was warning the people there that the time might be much shorter than they anticipated. It was essential to prepare now. But he was saying this in a subtle way, to prevent shock and panic.

+ Three, we were caring for two children in our home. They weren’t our own children, and not children I know in real life.

Our house had become mostly empty of furnishings, perhaps because we were selling our possessions to live. It was bed time, and my husband and I were looking down at the girl and boy as they played on the bare wooden floor with their last two remaining toys. We had prepared the children that the time would come when they would need to give up even these last toys, and put them outside for other children to find.

My husband and I knew that this was the last night. In the course of the next day, the cloud was going to arrive, and we would all breathe it and die.

I asked the children if they thought the time was right, to place the toys outside for other children to find. But they begged to keep them one more night, and we said yes.

+ Four, I was preparing for sleep that night. I opened the window and looked out at the black sky. The night was breathing, warm and alive. The sky was velvety black, and the stars shone out brilliantly. The stars seemed closer than usual.

Looking at them, I began to understand in a deeper way that my body is part of the same material universe as those stars. We are all made of molecules from a common store, shared by all things in the universe. And soon my body would be disintegrating back into that vast collection of molecules.

I felt that it was right for this to happen. I felt like it was the right next thing to happen to me (or, at least, to my body). And I thought, So that’s why the stars feel closer.

I thought about leaving the window open for the night, because the fragrance of the air was so warm and comforting. But the fine particles were already beginning to creep in. I kept having short, soft coughing spells. I knew that, if I left the window open, I would die in course of the night, and I needed to be there the next day for my husband and the children.

I decided to wait till the next day to die. I closed the window and lay down, and began to repeat the prayers I say every night before sleep.

About Frederica Mathewes-Green

Frederica Mathewes-Green is a wide-ranging author who has published 10 books and 800 essays, in such diverse publications as the Washington Post, Christianity Today, Smithsonian, and the Wall Street Journal. She has been a regular commentator for National Public Radio (NPR), a columnist for the Religion News Service,, and Christianity Today, and a podcaster for Ancient Faith Radio. (She was also a consultant for Veggie Tales.) She has published 10 books, and has appeared as a speaker over 600 times, at places like Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Wellesley, Cornell, Calvin, Baylor, and Westmont, and received a Doctor of Letters (honorary) from King University. She has been interviewed over 700 times, on venues like PrimeTime Live, the 700 Club, NPR, PBS, Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times. She lives with her husband, the Rev. Gregory Mathewes-Green, in Johnson City, TN. Their three children are grown and married, and they have fourteen grandchildren.

Christian LifeOrthodoxy


  1. Thank you so much for being willing to post this. It has value for me personally, connects symbolically to what I have been thinking and feeling, even to the books sitting in front of me on my desk, which include a Bible, a book on the psychological shadow, and Peter Kingsley's "A Story Waiting to Pierce You."

    The fourth scene is especially beautiful, and I feel, in some deep sense that includes both the literal and what is beyond it — it is true, and not just about you, but about all of us.

    FMG: Thank you. That is encouraging.

  2. Felt that your dream was about the Coronavirus. Jesus bus returning soon. We are in the end times. We are going to continue to see things that we have never before. Take a stand for God! Let as many know to please get a relationship with Jesus. This is 💯 real! God is pouring out His Spirit and I like many others are and are having visions and dreams some too horrible to believe.

  3. Believe if have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,Be Moved from this place to that,and it will be Moved; and nothing will be impossible for you.
    Matthew 17:20 Amen 👏👏👏

  4. This cloud of fine particles could have originated from a comet or asteroid, since as it burns up in the atmosphere, poisonous elements would be released, similar to smoke from a fire. Revelation 8:7-12 seems to depict the effects of such an impact. Alternatively, it could be from the radioactive fallout of a number of nuclear bombs detonated across the world, causing the planet-encircling cloud.

    FMG: that's helpful. I did think of nuclear fallout; I remember seeing the movie "On the Beach" long ago, which had a similar premise, that a cloud of radiation was encircling the earth and everyone would die.

  5. I'm new to the Eastern Orthodox faith, indeed to any faith, but there's been a change in my soul and it feels urgent .. to repent, to try to make myself ready for something that I feel sure is imminent. Your post made me cry. It feels familiar and true. The acceptance of what must happen is something that resonates and it moves me. May God do what He must, ours is to be at peace with that.

Leave a Reply