My friend told me about a troubling dream the other day. He was disturbed by it. He was interpreting it according to his ordinary awareness—the same awareness he has about what he feels about his dinner choices or his latest review from the boss. So he was not completely excited when I became enthused about what he had dreamt. He initially thought I was taking his bad feelings lightly.
I thought his dream was a wonderful expression of his spiritual awareness, which I have had the privilege of watching as it developed. Just below the surface of his ordinary awareness, his dreams were holding the spiritual awareness of the great changes God was making in him. I think that God’s work in us is emanating from places too deep for us to be fully aware of. We can often spot what is happening and cooperate when his works rises as close to our ordinary awareness as our dreams.
In this case the dream seemed to be about the classic struggle to put together the competing and complementary elements of the gifts and desires we all contain. How can I be myself and serve? How can I do what I want and do what I should? How can I follow love and still tell the truth? How can I experience what I think I need and still give what I have to contribute? How can I leave my past behind and still be true to what I have become? In the words of Jesus: how can I lose my life and find it? It is no wonder that the dream felt disturbing! Spiritual birth pangs were sending an urgent message that something new was trying to be born.
I am wondering how many of my readers are experiencing similar disturbance? What are your dreams telling you? I have to say that I think our whole network has definitely experienced the surfacing of dreams lately – from Haddon and Fern’s emergence, to Frankford and Norris’ crowning new baby congregation, to the rumblings of newness at Broad and Washington. Several people have told me that they are aware that God is bringing about something new. Are you aware of it, too? Any dreamers care to share?
2 thoughts on “Good, Disturbing Dreams”
I used to have interesting (sometimes disturbing, but refreshing at the same time) dreams often, but that was several years ago. These days I hardly ever have any, and I am starting to miss them. But this past year or two have been the most amazing and interesting of my life so far, so maybe I don’t need dreams at this time. God has spoken to me through dreams on multiple occasions (that I realized as such – maybe He also speaks through other dreams but I didn’t realize it was Him). I definitely think that God is officially doing a “new thing” these years and that we need to get in tune with God (if we’re not already), not just to avoid certain bad things, but to pursue the awesome plans He has for us and the world.
I found that paying attention to dreams took practice. I used to dream journal prayerfully when I awoke; that was helpful to get used to paying attention. Last night i dreamed that 100,000 people were in a tiny stadium in my mouth cheering. Josh Grace was with me saying it was ok. That one made me smile when i woke up. 🙂