2 Lions

Age 25

In this dream there are three version of me at different ages: a present, past, and future me. There is a six-years-old who colors with markers. There is a present tense self, who is the protagonist of the dream. There is, also, a mom-self who tells the other two what to do.

The setting begins with the mom-self leading us to a patch of grass that was surrounded by low hedges. In the middle of this patch of grass was a giant vintage stroller. Mom-self had me get it the stroller. My blanket from high school was there to keep me warm. As I climbed inside and got under the blanket she said worriedly, “Now, if you see any lions let me know. There are a lot lions in this woods and I know what to do.” She had a bow on her back. And, then she sat down on the ground with the six-year-old, holding her in her lap and telling her how to color. The six-year-old was silently ignoring her instruction.

Lying down I was looking at Orion in the sky, as I did every possible morning growing up. Suddenly, a lioness jumped on my stomach. I held up my right arm for protection. The lioness held my arm in her teeth. She was warning against something and was very gentile. The mom-self came over and and shooed the lioness away. The lioness snarled at the mom-self before leaving. I wasn’t sure it was good that the lioness was gone.

Then, a male lion came and nuzzled my right hand. I felt safe. I felt at home. And, with the sunrise, he left.

The lioness returned, standing on my stomach. She snarled fiercely at something over my head. I feel commanded not to watch, but the lioness was going to kill the mom-self. And, I was not going to miss her. I saw her jump over me and heard the brutal screams of the mom-self dying. I felt more and more free. Eventually, I was allowed to turn and look. The lioness was liking up the marrow from her ribcage, all that was left.

Then, I lied back down, feeling free. The lioness came over and I asked her if the male lion was going to return. She promised he would, and I needed to know that he would return every night, but always be gone during the day. And, I needed faith.

I waited and eventually he returned, but this time he was younger. He saying until morning. Then, again, he left. I asked if he was, really, going to come back. He promised he would.

I checked in with the six-year-old self to see how she felt about the mom-self dying. She also felt free and said the mom-self had no idea how to color. She and I walked away from the little patch of grass.

2 Whales

Age 25

The dream began at a gas station in my home town of Bend, Oregon at the base of the Pilot Butte. I filled up the tank and drove north. In my dream there was an inaccuracy, however. On the right side of the road was an immense lake. There is not a lake there in actuality. I drove to a home at a cul-de-sac. Once inside the doorbell rang. Joyfully, I welcomed my new friends. They were two whales. One was male and one was female. The male whale went inside to meet up with the other friends that were already inside. The female asked me to step outside onto the porch. I stepped out and she told me this house was not my home and I needed to not settle in, but be ready to go when called. Then we went inside, together. In the back room my friend was playing an acoustic guitar for everyone. They were chatting loudly. Then we went into the next room where my friends were playing video games. The male whale was floating behind them, watching attentively and encouraging them. As soon as he saw me, the male whale said, hurriedly, ‘Let’s go, now.’

As he passed by me, he transformed into an old man with long white dreadlocks. On the dreads where a variety of beads and one over his right ear was a smooth silver cross. I felt so much relief to see it, and I said, ‘I knew it was you!’

He rushed us out of the house faster and we jumped in the car. Driving away into the evening, we drove back the way I came, driving south along the road below Pilot Butte. There was road kill falling from the sky. The animals were mostly woodland and exotic animals, but also cats and dogs. I felt sad about them all dying, but looking more closely I saw that they were all machines. The male whale, driving the car while I looked at the animals, said they were idols in my life and I wasn’t going to miss them, but I needed to be dedicated to leaving.

A friend came upon the lake, walking on the water, and begged me to come back. The male whale said it wasn’t my friend, but a lying spirit. My friend was safe at the house, and this spirit was making me feel like my friends were in trouble without me and it was painful. I turned away from that friend apparition and it disappeared. Then on the right, high atop the butte, was a massive mechanical lion. He was moaning as though in pain, begging me to stay and take care of him. The male whale said this is what afflicted me and told me not to talk to it or try and battle it, but just drive away and live a new life with the whales. So, we kept driving into the daylight.

A Vision Called “November”

Age 23

God got my attention during a Sunday service telling me he wanted to give me a vision, but it was too long for a regular service. If I wanted the vision, I needed to to accept an invitation from my new friends. He asked if I wanted the vision. And, I did. He asked if I would agree to go with my new friends. I agreed.

Shortly after that my new friends invited me a prophetic reading at a Baptist Church. I went with them.

Taking my seat at the prophetic sermon I felt my mind readying to go on a vision quest. I settled into my seat, trying to make sure I was comfortable. I kept opening my eyes while the people sang songs of worship around me, insecure about being weird.

The vision began. I was under an ocean of darkness, lying on my back. On top of me was placed a sheet of glass. It was for me to stay still. I was told that I would not be allowed to get up until I was rested. I learned to stop pouting and I submitted to my fate of staying flat on my back. Eventually, I felt uncomfortable, and heavy, and sad, and anxious, and weary. Out of weariness I cried to Jesus of Nazareth saying, “I don’t believe in you, but if you have any power, can you rescue me?” I asked him to come down to get me, but he said he needed to pull me out of darkness not bring himself into darkness.

So, eventually, I was lifted up. Turning to look down I saw the darkness far below transform into water that was spiraling, but it calmed. I was brought up into the atmosphere and placed on a table for healing. I fell halfway through the table because I didn’t trust Jesus. He had angels touch every bit of me that was going to be healed, including all five fingers on each hand.

I was taken high above the table to see how many angels it took to heal me and they filled the atmosphere. He asked if I was ready for them to sing. The angels placed hands on the shoulders of the angel in front of him or her. When I was ready, they sang and little by little I was healed. Jesus held my head.

Eventually, it was time to go with the Holy Spirit. She came in golden light. I was lifted out of the atmosphere, into the blackness of the night sky.

My body seemed to be separated from myself. Seeing the galaxy far to my left, the Holy Spirit showed up in a body and lied on her belly. She was waiting for something. She told me she waiting for me to give up my pride. When I was ready to let go of pride, she shoved her hand into my chest and pulled out my heart. It was crusted, dark gray rock of different textures. She turned it over in her fingers, examining it for signs of life. She found a spot still aglow and from the heart I heard my longing to do right by God and the sound of my attempts at worship. She squeezed the spot until it died. And, she turned the heart in her fingers again, searching. She found another spot dimly lit and I heard the sound of me trying to work hard to do right by God. And, she squeezed the heart again. She did this, over and over, until the entire heart was dead rock. She explained that my attempts were not out of freedom or trust or joy and to get those things I would ned a new heart. But, she said it wasn’t right for her to take my heart away until it was dead because otherwise I would cling to the heart and be hurt. She brought to my mind the idea of a drowning person in panic and said the moment that relates is the pain of hopeless that is made worse by the sight of the rescuer so that panic drowns them both. She said, first we need calm, rest, and hope. Then, with a little bit a faith, she would remove the heart and upgrade my life experience.

So, when my heart was all dead she asked if she could upgrade me. I gave her permission. She took a bite out of the dead rock-heart. It was disgusting. She stopped eating and asked if I wanted a bite. I did not. She said, someone has to eat it. If she doesn’t eat it, I’ll have to, or would I give it to someone else to consume. She reminded that God is a consuming fire, burning hotter than every sun in all the universe combined. She said my heart was smaller that a spec of dust to God. And, assured me that the only thing that happens when God eats it, is that it turns to carbon. But, to a human it’s highly toxic. And, she asked if she could keep eating it. I gave her permission, but didn’t want to watch. A feeling of thankfulness came into me like a gentile breeze. It was the beginning of not being numb anymore.

With the old rock-heart gone, I felt surprised to not feel dead. The Holy Spirit said she was not giving another human heart because that one would have all the same struggles and lead to my death, again. Instead she would give me herself. And, the body she had filled with golden light. She stood up the body that was going to be mine and commanded my soul to enter. She then told me to dance, singing along with a pop song saying, ‘when I move you move, just like that. When I move you move, just like that.’ I told her was inappropriate. She laughed.

I asked who I was. And, she said, as the righteous and true guide, she was emulating me because she knows me enough to know what I’m like, this way I’ll know where I’m going, and soon I live out my true identity, which is righteousness. She taught to me dance freely and to pray.

When it was time to go back, she brought my mind down slowly. Like reverse ascension out of deep water, my mind needed to be brought gently back into forward consciousness. Eventually, I opened my eyes to the preacher speaking a word over my life, that I would reach those he couldn’t and in a hidden kind of way. Whatever, it’s just time I write this stuff down. It’s taking up space in my mental hard drive.

The reason I call this vision November is because after I told my buddy the entire vision and a month passed, I ran into him. He asked if I’d ‘lived through November.’ I didn’t understand. He’d thought the vision was going to be completed within the month after it had been received. I sighed, sadly, feeling that this vision was going to be years in the making. It’s been 9 years, now. I think I’m reaching the end. And, so I will dance.

“Go to college”

Age 17

I was standing by my locker in the ladies locker room at school. I heard an audible voice say, “Go to college,” very loudly. It was loud enough to startle me. In that moment I realized I had not being intending to go to college. My plan was to move to California and live near my cousins. I did not want to go to college, but I felt the heavy hand insist upon me. So, I went to college.

The Interpretor

Age 12

About to enter Middle School, I felt I needed to revisit my belief in God. If I was going to tell people I believed in God that was one thing, but I was not certain about that Jesus guy. My Mom had mentioned in passing that if she was going to instruct someone where to begin reading the Bible she’d tell them to being in the Gospel of John. She, now, swears she would never tell anyone to begin there. She would tell them to begin in the book of Mark because it’s the most straight forward telling of events. That’s nice. I was told John.

So, I opened my Bible to the gospel of John and began to read. Before I finished the first sentence I felt the Spirit enter my room. I stopped reading and told the Spirit of God to leave because that was cheating. I needed to know what I thought, unbiased. I did not want the Spirit to sway my vote (American already.)

So, God spoke asking me if I knew that the version of the Bible was going to read was, first, written in a different language. I had played with my Dad’s lexicon so I was aware of that fact. He continued, asking if I thought it would be wise to have the Spirit that was there when it was written help me to know what the author meant to try to say, otherwise I might reject something that is good because of a single word that I understand in one way, but that should be understood in a different way. He promised that the Spirit would only interpret the words and would not push any favoritism toward or away from that guy who claimed to be the Messiah. I felt like that was okay, but I was skeptical that there would really be a lack of bias. So, I was pouty, but I allowed the Spirit to read with me.

I read the book in one sitting, stopping occasionally to listen to the Spirit connect concepts from one paragraph to previous paragraphs in the development of a single argument. I felt like nothing conflicted with my understanding of goodness and the commands of this Jesus seemed wise. I asked if there was another book I should read to understand goodness. I didn’t receive an offer from the Spirit, but instead felt like I was told my understanding was good enough. So, I felt like, since I couldn’t argue against it, I would go ahead and call myself a Christian. And, that is not without consequence in liberal Bend, Oregon. But, whatever, God has plans for Bend and for Portland. He’s bringing play back. He’s promised. I don’t care if it falls into the ocean. But, it’s God that saved the world. I’m just eating manna.

Trust in God…



"The Growing Christian" - William E. Biederwolf
“The Growing Christian” – William E. Biederwolf

This little book by W.E.B. has travelled with me since high school. I love reading new descriptions of the gospel’s declaration of grace as a method to pleasing God. So often, I fell like I need to be better. What I need to be better at is sometimes told to me by society: health, physique, education, environmentalism. Sometimes, I feel like scripture is telling me to be better: don’t cling your money, but give without self-consideration, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers. And, then a picture comes into my mind of a young tree, young enough to grow in a pot. And, I think, can this tree grow any taller if it wanted to badly enough? No, even if it could tremble it’s leaves with the effort. So, much of the Bible is God saying, “Look at me: I take care of you. Stop worrying. Stop telling me where the attacking army is and listen to me telling you where I am.” If only I would trust him. Out of grace comes rest, life, and growth. But, first he has to show us grace. Some, could come to him and ask for an ailment to be removed and they would know they were forgiven and held by Him, safe, in this life and the next. Not me. I would be healed and think I was healed so that I would go back to work, just able to work harder. Jesus said he came so “they might have life, and have it abundantly” John 10:10. I need something else if I’m going to treat God like a God and not like a tool I use to perform more productively. But, I don’t know what I need. So, I guess He’s got His work cut out for Him.

Me living at a state of rest and not at a state worry?

That would be a miracle.

“The Growing Christian”

Foundation




Why start with worship?

There are times when we can’t feel His presence. Worship points our attention to Him. What we focus on maters to how we respond, emotionally and behaviorally, to circumstances. The Saints are distinguished by their response to circumstance, both tragic and traumatic, to submit that, while they weep in bitter anguish, there is hope. And, the word of God is like a nurse clinging to the weary hand of the wounded, testifying earnestly, “Recovery is real. Endure a little longer.” Ours is not a distance God. His presence is in Spirit, so that when He speaks he nourishes the soul with His breath. We could turn our face away because of the pain, angry at the injustice. But, if we want to endure with assurance of recovery in the long road ahead we will grow nearer to His Spirit and drink of life. Worship is breathing, drinking, and growing near. It is noticing the sun on a cloudless day and acknowledging the warmth. It doesn’t invoke the sun. The sun is there weather we want it there or not. On an overcast day we could accuse the sun of blinking out existence, but it wouldn’t be true. We just don’t feel the warmth. And, if we think the sun no longer exists because we lack it’s warmth that’s ignoring our intellect. That’s why we worship: to breath air that causes us to be strengthened. Trust in God grows slowly, but we can always start with worship and be introduced the God who loves us, each one.