A Walk in the Park- Judy Ann Eichstedt

Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer.~Author UnknownI am not a person who puts too much faith in dreams. I always seem to find a logical explanation for them. However, something happened that made me realize that God talks to us in dreams, as do our loved ones who have passed away.It happened when things were at an all-time low for us. We had become homeless just months before, and we finally were able to save enough to get back into a house. My husband had not found work, and we had no money. Many times I went to the Dumpsters in the back of grocery stores to find food for my family. It was a dark time.I wanted to give up and throw in the towel. It was hard to see how things would improve. When you’re eating from garbage cans, it’s hard to stay positive. However, my faith in God and reading the Bible kept me strong even in difficult times.We were living in Oregon in a two-bedroom house with six children and no utilities. With no running water, I had to get water in a bucket from a neighbor’s house. I needed $150, as a deposit, to turn on the water and lights. I just could not come up with the money.On a Sunday night I poured out my heart to God and told him how much money I needed for the utilities. I felt as if I was at the end of my rope. I did not know what to do. That night I had a very strange dream. In the distance I saw a campfire with men sitting around it. As I walked closer, I saw tents and horses as well. It looked like they were soldiers in the Civil War. All the men wore uniforms that fit the time period. The men were looking down at the fire as I walked up to them. Then one man looked up at me and smiled. He had a very big smile and he acted as if he knew me. I just stared at him. He had a pleasant face, but he looked tired. We looked at one another for a moment or two before he spoke.”Take a walk in the park,” he said. His voice was strong.”What did you say?” I asked.He repeated, “Take a walk in the park.””Who are you?””Parkhurst,” he said. “I am called Parkhurst. It’s a family name.” And he laughed.I woke up and remembered every detail of the dream.The next morning I walked to the store to return some bottles for the deposit, and right next to the store was a little park off to the side. I froze as I stared at it and recalled my dream. I walked away, into the store. As I headed home, Parkhurst’s words came to me. I turned around and went back to the park. I did not see anyone in the park, so I started on the walking trail. Around the corner I saw a woman jogging toward me so I moved over for her to pass. I kept walking and looking for some reason I was there, but found none. Then someone touched me on my back and I turned to see the jogger.”Hello,” she said. “You must be the one.””I don’t understand,” I told her.”I dreamt last night that someone needed some money, and I handed it to them at a park,” she said.My mouth fell open but I did not say a word. She handed me an envelope, said “God bless you,” and off she went. I yelled “thank you” when I could talk again. I opened the envelope, and there was $150. I had to sit down.I went over and over what had happened. I prayed and had a dream with a message from a strange man, and this woman had a dream and knew how much money I needed. I could not believe it, for nothing like that had ever happened to me. I hurried home to tell everyone.It was not until twenty years later, when I took up genealogy, that I discovered a man named Parkhurst Shurlock who served in the Civil War. He was a sergeant in the 100th Co. D. I could not believe what I was reading. He was my great-great-grandfather.As I did more research I learned the name Parkhurst was a family name, and to keep it alive they used it as a first name. About three years ago I found a photo tintype of Parkhurst Shurlock. It was without a doubt the man in my dream. I had come face to face with my great-great-grandfather.

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