Thursday, May 13, 2010

Most nights I dream irreconcilable dreams - about random things, people and events - and often do not remember most of the details when I awake.  But three nights ago, just after returning from a trip to California,  I had a different sort of dream that came on the heals of a few days of a specific prayer I had been asking God.

Last week my family and I went to Southern California to go visit family and be a part of my brother's wedding.  I know my tendency when we travel and see people is to get so caught up in the flurry of activity and schedules that I miss out on being present and "in the moment" when I see friends and family that I rarely get to spend time with.  So, my prayer each day was that God would allow me to see people and events with His eyes - to remove the scales from my eyes so that I could be present with His heart for people I hung out with. ..  We had a fantastic trip and spending time with Dustin's family and mine was wonderful and I felt like God had answered my prayer.

Well, now fast forward that night three days ago when I had this dream.  God was definitely not done answering my prayer (which I thought was just a prayer specifically for that trip).

It isn't often that I have a dream that I feel is spiritually significant but when I do, I know it's significant because 1) I can recall all the details 2) I feel an impression pray when I am startled awake 3) It has a direct correlation to something in my life God has been teaching me.  The dream went like this:

I was walking through a dense tropical forest.  The air was still and sticky and extremely quiet.  I could hear myself breathing but nothing else.  I stopped on a very narrow and winding trail to listen for any sign of life - birds, wind, anything- and there was nothing.  I was alone.  But then I felt drawn to continue down the path deeper down the forest path until I came to a very small clearing.  In the middle of the clearing was a cement covered room sized box.  The cement room had no windows and no doors and again I listened for some sign of life and the air remained still.  As I approached the cement room and put my ear to the cold wall I closed my eyes.  I opened my eyes as I realized that I was now inside the cement room.  There was a dirt floor and the walls were musty on the inside.  Where the cement ceiling met the cement walls there was a tiny sliver of light that allowed me to see what was seated in the far corner of the room - an older woman with ashy, hallowed skin sat with her knees drawn up to her chest and her back in the corner.  Somehow I knew this was a widow... and next to her, a small child, no older then five, seated in the same position, next to the woman and I knew this sweet child, was a child without a mother or a father. An orphan.  And they just sat and stared.  The room was without hope, without purpose, without light - and I felt the heart of God for these two dear ones.  I felt His love for them, felt His tears He cried for them.

I remembered in that moment of my dream two things that have come to my mind as my family has begun this journey toward adoption:  First, was the verse in James 2:27 that says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress."  And the other was a quote that I read on a blog recently that said, Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it... but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."  And I knew that God was sharing His heart with me for His beloved, the widow and the orphan without a voice, without hope who are painfully aware of their need for the love, care and generosity of God's people.  And the dream was over as quickly as it begun.

But then yesterday, as I prayed for God to give me another chapter in this dream - a optimistic end to the horrible despair I felt in that cement room.  And I got a picture in my heart and mind of that cement roof that held so much despair being lifted effortlessly off.   A massive group of Christ-followers gathered around the outside of the building.  Working as one, each believer put their fingers into the tiny crack between the roof and the walls and streams of light, and air, and hope flooded into the room as they lifted in sync.  THAT is God's heart - THAT is the kind of community that I know the body of believers is intended for and works for.  To offer hope to the hopeless and let the Light of Life, Jesus, stream in.

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