Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Stuff That Dreams are Made of

“Then, after doing all those things,
I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”

- Joel 2:28 (New Living Translation)

There’s not much in the way of explanation I can offer for not having posted since May. I’ve been living in a state of perpetual motion and busyness over that time. I’ve had ideas, but the daily affairs of life have pushed those ideas into the back seat.

While I haven’t had much time to express my thoughts in writing, thoughts and ideas have been coming to me in a medium that’s been unfamiliar to me since my childhood. In the past month I’ve had two very vivid dreams. Perhaps, as the Bible says, it means that I’m now an old man.

I’ve shared what I saw and in these dreams with my wife, Nancy, and a few other people. This morning Nancy told me that she thought it would be a good idea to share them on this blog. I’ll share the first one with you today and the other either tomorrow or early next week.

I believe they have meaning, not just for me, but for others as well. I’ll leave it to you to interpret them. Feel free to share your thoughts about them by way of comment.

The first dream began outside a large church, built for multitudes. It had the familiar steeple. From all appearances it appeared to be very mainstream. It looked a lot like a church Nancy and I once attended in Kansas City. It also appeared to be strong, made of large limestone blocks. It was very impressive. At first I saw the church from a distance, then somehow the cornerstone of the building caught my eye. It read, “To the glory of God; peace and freedom for all humanity.”

At first things appeared to be very peaceful. Then, in an instant, it all changed. As I looked in either direction, north and south, from the entrance of the building, I saw long lines of ambulances with their lights on and sirens blaring. They were all going in one direction, coming from north and heading south. The horizon, both near and far, was filled with them. It was an overwhelming sight. Each ambulance stopped at the church entrance. As they did, wounded and dying people were carried on stretchers and placed in the ambulances. I could hear the moans and screams above the sound of the sirens and could see blood running down from the circular drive in front of the church, then flowing into the gutters.

I felt powerless. I couldn’t stop the procession, which went on and on for what seemed to be an eternity.

I began to weep and then was transported into the sanctuary. It was almost as if I was being taken inside to see what was causing the procession outside. As I entered the sanctuary I could see men who appeared to be dressed from head to toe in very unusual clerical robes. They were bright and colorful, reds, blues, greens, yellows, purples, dotted with images of birds and snakes. The material was wispy and flimsy, giving these men, who I assumed were leaders, a very feminine appearance. Even the hoods covering the tops of their heads and their eyes were made of this flimsy material. The only thing different about them from the rest of the material was that they were jet black. I looked down at their feet, expecting for some reason to see sandals. Instead, I saw they were all wearing hobnailed boots. Each of these men was playing an instrument of one kind or another. They weren’t the traditional instruments one would normally associate with worship, like trumpets, cymbals, and stringed instruments. They were banging on tin drums, blowing furiously on kazoos and flutaphones, and plucking on some sort of one stringed instrument. As they played, they also stomped their feet and gyrated wildly around the sanctuary. The sound was so discordant it pierced the air. The rhythms were so discordant that they drove those observing into a state of fearful frenzy. It was painful to listen to and even more painful to watch. The most disturbing thing about what I observed was that the leaders seemed to derive great pleasure from the pain they were inflicting on those entering the sanctuary. As the pain got greater, the discordant sounds and frenzied dance reached a crescendo. I could not tell whether or not the leaders were aware of the bloody scene taking place at the entrance, or even if they cared.

I then found myself outside the church once more. The line of ambulances proceeded, unabated. The wounded and dying moaned and screamed. The blood continued to pour from the entrance to the gutters in the street. It appeared that the procession would go on for a long time.

I began to weep once more and heard a voice saying, “The cup of iniquity is full. I am winnowing, I am winnowing, I am separating the chaff from the wheat.”

Then, the dream ended.

I’m not offering it to sensationalize. I’m only offering it now so that I can record what I saw and felt before it becomes a faded memory. Also, as I said earlier, I’ll leave it for you to interpret.

I’ll share what I saw and felt in the other dream with you either tomorrow or early next week.