Some dreams start abruptly. Some dreams seem to fade in and you can’t really pin point where it started. This was the former- as if I suddenly woke up but I wasn’t in my bed. I looked at my surroundings from where I was seated on an outdoor lounge. I was at my parents’ house, outside on the deck. The way the house is built is two story in a hillside with the bottom floor halfway underground and the exposed half is a two car garage. The deck wraps around the second story, one story high over the garage. The house looked exactly as it does in real life. I could feel a breeze. The air felt like a warm day in May. The sun was shining, but thinly shrouded with a few clouds, making the sunlight pleasant but not overbearing. A perfect day that was so real although I knew it was a dream.The deck is wide and from where I was sitting, I was facing the house, and 12 or so feet away were the double doors that lead into the living area of the house. I was wondering what I was doing there, sitting outside at my parents house. My gaze wandered from the doors off to the side to the front yard, but my attention was averted back to the doors when one started to open.
Coming out of the house was a man I did not recognize, but was oddly more than familiar. He was of average height and size for a man. He wore a plain white t-shirt and light colored jeans with holes in them. His face was not very remarkable and there were faint scars on his forehead. His eyes gripped me- an intense, bright, greenish hazel. His expression was serious until his eyes met mine and he smiled a little, looking relieved. I smiled back. My heart swelled as if I knew him and loved him. It was an undefined feeling of love. I could not tell whether it was the type of love that one felt for a brother, father, friend or lover. I said, “You’re back!” I did not know why I said it or what I meant by that. I felt confused and my smile faltered, as my mind was baffled and argued with the feelings of my heart. He grimaced a little then smiled kindly, “Yes, I didn’t really leave you, but I got locked away for a little while,” he explained as he walked towards me. I stared at this person that I felt that I knew intimately but could not remember how that was so. “He hesitated as he walked towards me, “I’m sorry for that, but understand why don’t you?” Without knowing why, I did understand, and I nodded.
He came and sat beside me, and I alternated between two different states of mind. One moment I felt as if I knew exactly who he was; I was so extremely happy to see him and knew exactly why he was there. The next moment felt as if I came back to being completely lost like waking from a dream that you could not quite remember, yet it was all a dream!
He asked me how I was. The question led me to spill my guts as if someone had given me a drug that makes you answer a simple question with complete honesty and in entirety with nothing left out. While I was talking, lost in my own words, I forgot about everything else. I told him all about how I had been feeling. I had been in an inner turmoil. I had been through so much that I felt God had rescued me from, but the past, my past, wouldn’t let loose it’s hold on me. I was consumed with shame. The unfolding of my fall to rock bottom and assent to salvation absolutely astonished me. There was much I wanted to do for Him and follow his lead after everything the Lord had done for me. I was in a state of continual amazement. After all was said and done, I could not fathom the love demonstrated for me and to me. After so long in the dark, the world was new and exciting. However, I had something holding me back: Fear. Well founded or not, I was afraid of what people would think of me. People had to know how I had been living and my journey to be free from specific sins was ongoing. It was no secret. How would people react if I claimed to know God, and He wanted me to be a messenger, a beacon of light. I felt more than a little unqualified. I felt like I had all the wrong features. In my eyes, I was damaged and stained and on top of that too young for anyone to listen to.
At some point while I was telling him this, I somehow ended up on his lap and felt small like a child. I realized how hurt and scared I felt. I cried on his shoulder literally. He just calmly patted my back, hugged me close and kissed the top of my head. I felt so much peace coming from him, and he told me not to be afraid that he was with me and would never leave me. I had not realized until that moment how much I had needed to be comforted. Then, a feeling of true understanding and clarity came over me, and even though I knew the answer, I sat up a little, leaned back and looked at him. My voice was small and breathed the words, “Who are you?” He frowned and did not answer, as if I had asked a question I already knew the answer to. I did know the answer, but I was in awe and could not think what to say. I noticed again how amazing his eyes were. I no longer was looking at a regular person. His face became divine. His eyes were the most beautiful indescribable color, later I called it green, but would say, “well it was sort of blue and hazel too,” but honestly it was like seeing every faucet of eye color in one person’s eyes. There was also a quality that had nothing to do with the color, or rather had everything to do with the otherworldly hue. It was pure peace, intelligence and above all a gentleness beyond the most earthly kind eyes I had ever seen. I lost my breath, and said, “Your eyes are so beautiful!” He just smiled, chuckled and said wryly, “I think your eyes are beautiful.” I was abashed that someone with eyes like that would sincerely complement me as if I were anything special.
“So, are you feeling better now?” He said, as he wiped tears from my cheeks and looked me in the eyes like a mother expecting a truthful answer.”
“I do feel so much better! Thank you for listening to me go on and on! But… I just don’t know how I am going to get past this. How I will stop worrying about it.”
He sighed, looked away as if thinking and told me this, “What about the son of God? People hated him and disapproved of his actions, yet he still followed the father’s will.”
I had not thought of that and it was liberating to think of my problem as being the same as one that Jesus had. My problem was mostly in my head. I could not be sure anyone would say or do anything to me if I started talking and writing like I knew God, like really knew Him. I felt a little better, but then I thought, well that is true, but Jesus was undeserving of his critics. I felt like if anyone criticized me they would be right. Jesus didn’t do wrong. I had actually done wrong. I had dipped my feet in immoral and illegal activities. I replied, “Well I see what you mean, but I have really done things that are wrong, I have done things that break the law…”
Now, from the look on his face I could tell he was getting aggravated; there was something he wanted me to understand, and I was being dimwitted. He frowned and told me this, “You know I broke their law and they threw me in prison, right?” He paused as if to punctuate, “death row.”
That hit home. I was silent with the new revelation and irony. I burst into laughter and said, “So, you’re,” I laughed more, and tried again, “So, you’re, like,” more giggles, “A convict?” I immediately pictured a ridiculous scene of Jesus entering a nice modern church with all the trimmings- the most pristine, traditional and religious kind possible. He looked not like traditional representations of the son of God but more like the man I was talking to and dressed in prison garb. I imagined the reactions of the people in the church. People of the sort that I knew really existed, proud and polished cups concerned with appearances and “appropriate” behavior. I imagined this rough looking character declaring to his followers, “Okay guys, here I am, your savior, here to give you instructions. Listen up cause we have work to do!” How disturbed they would be! I think the scene I created in my mind was seen by him also because he also laughed as if he knew exactly what I was thinking. It was so wonderful to laugh with him. His smile was the most brilliant smile I had ever seen. It was so bright it literally seemed to shine and as he laughed joy seemed to spill from him. From my view point, a little reclined below him, the background around his face was the sky. While the smile itself shown like the sun, the sky around his face also seemed to light up with it. I was once again silent and staring in wonder at the most astonishing person I had ever seen.
I knew after that last scene and the laughter we shared, that I would not have so much trouble worrying about being judged. He smiled, hugged me once more, thanking me for the good joke, and said he had to go. I didn’t want him to go. I wanted to stay in his presence. He reassured me that while we could not stay in that place where he met me any longer, he would always be with me and I could talk to him any time I wanted. I knew it was true. I have felt like my invisible super hero best friend is glued to my side ever since. I think he was there before that, but I didn’t know how to recognize it or understand it. I blocked him out because of thinking I was not good enough. That’s why he said, “I got locked away.” Once we are his sheep, we can run away, or “block him out,” but HE will never leave us! Ever since the dream, I talk to him often when I need encouragement, have a problem or just want to thank him or tell him how wonderful he is. I can’t imagine a life without him. There is no other relationship on earth that neither has nor ever could fill my heart and soul to the full capacity of love like the love of Christ does. It is perfect love, and as the Bible says, perfect love really does cast out fear.
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