EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times Free Press is continuing a series of stories from readers about life experiences they attribute to divine intervention. We'll publish another each week as your stories continue to arrive. If you have a God Thing to share, email, or mail to Life Department, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403.

This week, Zella Dixon of Hixson describes two encounters with a mystical light.

God has performed many things in my life. These two accounts are the most outstanding encounters.

My sister-in-law Naomi died at age 39. After 20 years of marriage, she left behind my brother Bob and three beautiful children. Her life and death left a big impact on me, my mother and dad and especially my grandmother.

Several years later, my mom had a very restless night. Mom got up and went downstairs to study on her Sunday School lesson. Suddenly, she saw a bright light on the stairs. Mom jumped up and saw inside the light a vision of Naomi.

Mom went toward the light with arms outstretched to hug her and said, "Naomi, you have come back."

Naomi quickly said, "Mom, you can't touch me. I've only come to tell you everything will be OK. It has all been taken care of."

When Mom took another step closer, the vision and oval light vanished.

Several days later, my mom, my grandmother and Aunt Zella were going to Bristol, Virginia, from Johnston City, Tennessee, to clean my great-aunt's house, buy her groceries and do some cooking for her. She lived alone and was very sick.

The morning they had planned to leave, Mom got up with a very sick headache and decided not to go. Aunt Zella and Grandmother went without her. By nightfall, when they had not returned, Mom knew something happened. The phone call came with the news that a big truck had hit their car and they were instantly killed. Had a bad headache saved my mom's life, or was it God?

Many years later, our middle son, Danny, was killed by a drunk driver. My husband, Sherwin, our oldest son, Richard, and daughter, Patti, were devastated. Grief knows no bounds.

Our favorite holiday has always been Christmas with lots of family. Our house was "home base" for everyone, especially at holiday time. That year was different without Danny. We finally agreed to have it at Richard's home with his lovely family. All the relatives came to help strengthen us. We had great foods, games, Christmas carols and a beautiful presentation on Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ.

We gathered for our usual picture at the dining table. Something out of the ordinary happened again! Richard wanted a picture with a new camera he had given his wife, Peggy, for Christmas. We all took our place. When the instant picture came out, Richard cried out, "Mom, Dad, Danny is here!"

I said quickly, "We have felt his presence, don't we?"

"No, no, really," Richard replied. "Just look at this."

Standing in between Richard and his dad was another big oval light like Mom saw many years before. I have kept that picture with me.

Years later, I was telling my niece about the picture. She took the picture and started the process of darkening it. Again, another surprise. Gradually, a figure of a person came to view inside the oval light. I know Danny was with us that wonderful Christmas Eve. I have always said, "Real love is never lost."

Our loved ones are always with us in our hearts today, tomorrow and forever more. God is forever sending signals if we stop, look and listen to that still small voice.

— Zella Dixon, Hixson