this letter one day I will repeat myself. The vision that is chronicled below happened in the middle of the night on February 1st, 1970. The picture of a sea of boulders describes quite accurately a portion of what I saw. It is a photograph by Ansel Adams. There is a stretch of road on highway 78 between Poway and Ramona, California that has a similar landscape of dramatic boulders strewn across some very steep hillsides. Virgil, when you flew for PSA and lived in Julian, you passed those boulders. And when you took Eric for dialysis at Scripps you probably saw them two and three times a week.
Now back to something a little more serious. For the first 37 years of my life I jumped through all the hoops that defined me as a nice and successful individual in the eyes of the world. But the veneer of civilization I was wearing was very thin and fragile. And then it happened. I did not see it coming; but a few people did – those who loved me and were praying for me saw that Humpty Dumpty was ready to crash and did. “And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty together again;” but Jesus could and did! Thank you, Jesus. I was unaware that these caring saints were sabotaging my life with intense prayer. Then one day, quite unexpectedly, I had this terrifying “Road to Damascus” experience that shook me to the core of my being. My world collapsed.
Some of what I am going to tell next you already know from earlier correspondence. But for the benefit of others who might read
Suddenly, time - past, present, and future - had lost its dimension. I was in a totally different world. I saw a kaleidoscope of my life: actions, motives, drives. Everything I had so carefully concealed from myself and others was revealed. The picture was not pretty. The duality of my nature, my motives, and everything I had ever suppressed came alive. I was forced to look at myself. What I saw gave me a terrible shock. I was hollow inside. I had spent almost thirty-seven years of my life trying to please people, born out of a desperate need for approval. Everything I had ever done was a front.
“Front, front, front; phony, phony, phony; you have lost your personality; you have wasted your life” was the reproach being hurled at my being. “You have never included ME! Your ‘I will, I will, I will’ doctrine, your self-sufficiency, your ‘I can do anything’ doctrine stinks with conceit!”
I tried to say the Lord’s Prayer, not out loud, but in my spirit. I tried many, many times to say the Prayer. I never succeeded in getting through to the end. “Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” was as far as I could get. “Thy will be done, Thy will be done, Thy will be done!” Finally it dawned on me - not my will, but Thy will be done. I had been so convinced that I could give purpose, direction, and fulfillment to my life that I had no need to ask anyone for direction or help. I was to learn differently.
there were many different sizes. The boulders were dying and crying out in agony for someone to save them, to rescue them. I did not understand what I saw. In my spirit I asked, “God, what does this mean?”
The next moment I saw that our whole backyard was flooded, and I perceived myself running down a steep incline to get to the faucet to turn off the water as quickly as possible. I stubbed my right toe severely on a mound of earth our boys had formed for a bicycle ramp. This scene had actually happened a few months earlier. Now it was happening to me again, but in another dimension. Was I hallucinating or having a vision? Again and again I saw myself running down the incline, stubbing my toe.
Finally, I asked in these words, “God, what are you trying to show me?”
“Slow down, Peter!” came the reply.
The setting changed to a large field of boulders, of which
It was thus explained to me, “The boulders represent the people who are losing their souls. They are dying slowly; their hearts are turning to stone. They are crying out for help, but no one can hear them, because pride prevents them from using their lips and tongues to ask for help.”
“God,” I asked, “what do you want me to do?”
“Learn the language of those who are dying,” I understood Him to say. To this day I remember that scene - the agonizing silent scream of the imprisoned souls within those boulders and God’s instructions to me. For many years I wept and wept whenever I remembered that particular scene or told someone about it.
The scene changed again. The very foundations of our world were being dislodged. Every planet in our solar system left its normal orbit. Their new direction made the collision with our planet inevitable. Maybe five or six more seconds and our world would be destroyed. It was awesome, frightening, inevitable; this would be the end that had been predicted. How could I experience this and live?
A voice spoke, “Is there anyone who is willing to stand in the gap? Is there anyone who will give up his life to stay the hand of judgment?”
It seemed as if all of heaven were assembled, straining, waiting, agonizing, until I made a decision. It had to be my decision. I was taxed to the very limit of my strength. “Lord, use me,” I finally said. Then it seemed as if all of heaven relaxed and slowly the planets returned to their established orbits. Our world was safe again.
The scene shifted. I was standing at the edge of an abyss, gripping a rope, which was long and went deep down into some cavern. Two persons, a man and a woman, were hanging onto the rope. I liked the woman. For a long time I strained to remember who she was, but I was never able to identify her. The man was a very close friend. When I recognized who he really was, I received a terrible shock. His true identity was Judas Iscariot. What was I to do?
A voice asked, “Are you willing to pull on the rope and strain to bring the two to the top?”
A terrifying struggle tore me to pieces on the inside. How could I let go without destroying the woman? How could I ever live with myself knowing that the woman was forever condemned to live in hell? The two hanging onto the rope were not pleading with me; they were just hanging on. The dialogue was only within my soul. I had to decide. Guilt would be mine forever if I made the wrong choice.
One day I will share with you, dear reader, what happened and how I have interpreted the vision. The interpretation came over many years and many struggles. I believe it is filled with healing and answers for those who have also had unusual visions and dreams. But for those who have that strong need to learn of the interpretation now, we invite you to be a guest in our home. We have a special place set aside for you called “The Upper Room.”
The world did not explode that night of February 1, 1970, but my world did. Everything that I had seen as valuable crumbled. For a while I felt like a ghost town. Strange thoughts and feelings tried to take up residence in my shattered life. Everyone around me tried, but neither family nor friend, priest, counselor nor psychiatrist could reassemble the success-oriented hard driven personality of Peter D. Laue. I admit, what was left of my life was not pretty, but at least it was real. Without the veneer of my accomplishments and titles, I felt naked and vulnerable. But my need to become real was now more urgent than my need to be applauded. I learned that heaven was not a place for people with titles, but for the lost and found. I learned that our own accomplishments and goodness more often open the gates of hell for us than the gates of heaven.
I learned that heaven was for real people who had decided to follow in the steps of Jesus regardless of the cost. Those who would be willing to ask before taking a single step, “What would Jesus do?” That night I took the first step and said to my soul, “I will return to my Father’s house.” It was not an easy journey. The world in me and the world around me did not want to let me go.
After traveling along this new road for many miles, these chastening, yet encouraging words were spoken to me through one of God’s prophets:
“This is for my son Peter, who must know My Love for him.”
There was a time when I called out to you in my Love: “My son, My son where art thou? Come hither unto Me, for thou art mine alone.” But you were lost in a desolate world and could not hear My voice. I created thee to know Me, love Me and acquire mine attributes, to be holy and sanctified, so that thou would be a worthy bride unto My Spirit.
But lo, thou turned away, leaving My heart empty and grieved. I willed to call thee unto Myself in intimacy. So, I took all that was not of Me away, never to be part of thy life again. I made thee to hunger and thirst after Me alone and if thou dids’t search the entire universe over, thou would not be satisfied, except in relationship to Me. Thou art My precious treasure. In thee I live and move and have My being. It is thou I cherish, for thou now has a heart after mine own.
When thy life contained only absolute nothingness, then your wandering in the Valley of Search was over and your journey unto Me began. For all begin in the creation of the longing of My Love and all will return unto Me. I began anew in thee, reconstructing and molding thee from dust to clay to Spirit. For I AM God and thou art My creation. As soon as thou turned thy uplifted face to behold Mine, in full submission to My will, prostrate before Me, I could begin to reveal myself to thee.
O, what joy abounded in the heavens as holy angels rejoiced at our reunion! Heaven and earth stood still as I embraced My beloved once again; and thou became mine forever.
Continue ye in thy love for Me and pray without ceasing unto Me. I wilt not disappoint thy heart ever again, nor wilt thou ever be far away from Me. For we are as one mind, one heart and one spirit. I AM well pleased to call you son and thou shalt have an anointed place at My right hand. Thou shalt call Me thy Father God and I shalt call thee My best beloved son; and I shall name thy name in the Book of Life. We will always know of our love for one another, one Spirit, singing praise in perfect harmony, rejoicing in our love forevermore.
I believe with all my heart that God wants to speak these same words He has spoken to me to many, many of His children who have turned their faces and hearts towards “Home.” If these words speak to your heart as you read them, please receive them as a gift from your heavenly Father and be encouraged.
Virgil and Barbara, you might remember the rest of the story, the following day I woke up at 11 PM in the Edgemont Hospital on a locked ward. I don’t remember how I got there. The last thing I recall is drinking a glass of wine about 5 PM and then I began to hyperventilate. Everything beyond that has been erased from my memory. I was taken to the hospital by our friend Joe Ramos who was also our gardener at the time. While in the hospital I became acquainted with the torment and terror suffered by the mentally ill. And that is where I pledged my life to do whatever possible to help them. I found my purpose.
My diagnosis was not a pretty one and the prognosis was not promising. Therapy was limited to antipsychotic medication, tranquilizers, and weekly sessions with a therapist. My ego took a big hit. I lost my job and began receiving disability checks. A little later I lost my family. I said to myself, “If the world says that I am crazy, I’ll take their crazy money.” Years later I adopted this prayer:
LORD, let my life be Your glorious contradiction to the world’s definition of normal.
At first I cooperated with the doctors and took the medication that was prescribed; but after a few months and a variety of different medications that drove me up the wall, I refused to take any more prescription drugs. My refusal to take any further medication infuriated the doctor and others. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit and praying in tongues I also lost the support of our pastor. The psychiatrist noted in my diagnosis that I was speaking “gibberish.” I made every effort to keep my new prayer language under raps because the climate in our home was unfavorable towards it. But one day in the middle of the night, my prayer language exploded. And that incident signaled the end my marriage of 14 years. The Master Potter broke the clay pot called Peter D. Laue and started making a new one.
A “poor me” attitude is uncalled for. This was God’s grace from the vantage point of “37 years later” and the age of 74. I am not angry at the wife of my youth. In retrospect I know that she was more terrified at my behavior than angry. I also know that God supervised my deliverance. I was living in a modern-day Egypt but did not know it. Today, with the help of Jesus on my side and inside, I am storming the gates of hell. The wimp has become a warrior. The self-focused “me first” person is now more concerned about others. One day some of the text books that are intended to help the mentally ill may have to be re-written. My favorite author whose words helped to heal me and validate the “new me” is Paul Tournier, a Swiss doctor, now deceased. I have most of his books.
The first step towards healing came shortly after I refused to take any more prescription drugs and substituted a totally different strategy to heal my delusional thoughts, restlessness, anger, fears, confusion, etc and etc. I determined that the torment that engulfed me at random and unpredictable times could not possibly be attributed to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I determined and decided that the torment and terror was not caused by a “chemical imbalance” in my brain, but came from the pit of hell. I decided to fight for my life and sanity with every ounce of my being. I asked Jesus to show me the necessary weapons of spiritual warfare and teach me how to use them. And He did!
When our backyard pool was still available I combined vigorous exercise with prayer. The moment I sensed a tormenting spirit attempting to overwhelm me like a tidal wave, I would get into my swimming trunks, jump into the pool and race back and force until I was totally exhausted. While swimming, I would proclaim the name of Jesus out loud. I had been told and I believed it, that the name of Jesus is more powerful than a thousand atomic bombs. The name of Jesus became my battle axe and weapon of warfare.
Later, as I became better acquainted with the Word of God, I would speak a variety of Scripture verses. Favorite verses were and still are: “The Battle is the Lord’s. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is God. The Lord rebuke you, Satan. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.” In addition to speaking these verses, I frequently prayed in my prayer language. I would be able to short-circuit every tormenting and confusing thought and emotion whenever I used this language.
It was a lengthy and arduous battle that lasted twenty years. Frequently I was jerked awake in the middle of
miracle supplement? How come that someone can’t pray a prayer of healing and deliverance over me and I could wake up well?” And He replied, “These battles build character, insight, compassion, perseverance and many other qualities that a courageous soldier and a compassionate physician needs. Peter, you would not have a story to tell if you did not have to battle for your sanity. Because you have been in this lengthy conflict with hell, your uncrucified ego, and the lust of your own flesh, I can trust you with keys and weapons of warfare that you can use and also pass on to others.”
the night and ravaged by a variety of thoughts and emotions that were ungodly such as fear, anger, lust, delusions of grandeur, and so on. At first this happened two or three times a week but gradually it became less frequent. Staying in bed was never an option. I would immediately get out of bed, get dressed and find a secluded meadow where I would march like a soldier and pray. After one or two hours the attack subsided and I would go home and back to bed. I felt like a whipped puppy the next day, but my mind and emotions were calm and clear.
I frequently posed this question to God as I walked and prayed, “How come this torment goes on and on? How come it can’t be cured with a pill or special diet or a
And that is why I am writing these words. I have chronicled my battle in bits and pieces before through personal letters, stories, and conversations; however in this letter I will try to include all the keys that have helped me to unlock the door to my own personal hell. Some of the keys are intentionally buried and hidden within the text. In the process of learning what works, I also learned which keys do not belong on my keychain. Identifying them takes time; discarding them takes courage. Blaming and bashing are two of them. Accusing God or our brothers and sisters short-circuits any possible healing!
One of the very necessary keys to healing is the courage and willingness to try again. Another important key is the humility to say, “I am sorry. I was wrong.” It is my fervent hope and prayer that my life, joy, and victory will inspire fresh hope and courage in those who have lost all hope. Being willing to get past the betrayal and disappointments most of us have experienced is a must. We cannot forget until we forgive. Each person has to search out their own answers; however, winning battles requires that we see ourselves as soldiers in God’s army. Those who are unwilling to fight will never walk in victory. Pills and excuses are crutches, not solutions. Suicide or murder never leads to victory.
If the Holy Spirit quickens these words to your heart, put them on your keychain; put them in your arsenal of spiritual weapons, and make use of them. Talking about going to war is not the same as going to war! And yet, after warring with all the strength and stamina that is within us, it’s OK to collapse into the arms of our Abba-Father!
And now I will continue with the dream that provoked me to write this epistle.