A Dream Speaks

Michele Armstrong July 30, 2019 1
A Dream Speaks

As I approached the decrepit house shrouded in oppressive darkness, I felt a great sadness, yet was compelled to enter. This was once a place of happiness, unity of spirit, family love, laughter, and security. But now the tattered remains of splintered wood and weathered paint only accentuated the gaping holes and broken glass in the windows that once allowed sunlight to stream into the rooms. Having fallen into utter disrepair, this house was desolate and barren, and the silence within was deafening. There it loomed in the darkness, patiently awaiting resurrection and restoration to its original glorious state.

There was something sacred about this old place–almost as if I had entered the sanctuary of a beloved ancient cathedral. I carefully forged on, so as to preserve the reverence that seemed to linger from the past. I dared not disturb the solemn silence.

Upon entering, I was surprised that I was not afraid, in contrast to my normal reaction. I am skittish by nature and tend to conjure the worst possible scenarios in my imagination. But this time was different. Somehow I knew I must move forward with courage. Curiosity and anticipation overtook my initial sadness.

As if urged by some unknown force, I climbed the stairs and emerged on the second-floor landing, an open space large enough to be a small sitting area or loft. I immediately knew this was where I was to explore. Strewn with debris and laden with dust, this space was the central hub of this house. Its joists and walls and floor and ceiling supported the entire structure. The rest of the house seemed dead; but I sensed that here in this one place, life existed in some fragile form–a piece of the precious past had somehow survived. This was the place I would find what I was seeking —although I didn’t know what that was. The space was dark, illuminated only by faint light shining through the large window. Yet it was enough light for me to carry on with my exploration.

Lying on the floor in front of me was a grandfather clock. The stately timepiece had been toppled on its back by some sort of  blow from which it never fully recovered, and no one had bothered to put it back in place. Covered in dust and encumbered with  cobwebs, this once magnificent object of beauty and artistry still faithfully kept time, though everything around it seemed dormant. Some hint of life had once existed here, as evidenced by the movement of the hands on the worn but majestic face. This clock seemed too stubborn to succumb to the fate of its surroundings. Though battered, it had survived.

Next, I turned to see a closed door, which I opened to reveal a dark closet. Stacked inside were boxes with crushed tops and partially opened lids. This closet’s contents were comfortingly familiar. I recognized cherished treasures– contributions of my father and mother that had been stored to keep them close at hand and accessible when needed. And I loved them.

On the other side of the stairway, I noticed a large room. I didn’t enter the room, but I observed it from where I was standing outside the doorway. Inside, a glaring floodlight hung suspended over a table–a vivid contrast to an otherwise dim, shadowy environment throughout the rest of the house. Seated at the table was a group of men–men I didn’t recognize. I curiously listened to their serious consultation. I overheard one of them say, “What should we do about her?”….. “About her?” I thought…….. “About me?….. Was I the topic their conversation?”

Just then, a young man climbed the stairs. He was someone very familiar and close to my heart—someone I had known since I was a young girl. Even after all these years, his strikingly handsome face was exactly as I remembered it. He was beautiful. His entrance both comforted and surprised me, and my heart nearly burst with excitement at the sight of him. He embodied my every dream of love and was the prince of my heart when I was young. As he drew near, his face and demeanor indicated he was on a mission. He passed me on the landing as if I wasn’t there. He spoke not a word to me and entered the room to join the group of men at the table and declared, “I know her, and I know what to do….”

………Abruptly, I awoke. It was all just a dream—a mysterious dream. Overwhelmed with emotion, I wept uncontrollably in the dark, trying to make sense of what had just occurred. What did this strange dream mean? Why was I so profoundly moved by it?

And then, as if hearing from the very heart of God, I understood. This dream was a frank and unfeigned revelation of myself. I had been afraid to see it before and would have been unprepared to handle it. But now it was time. God revealed to me an honest probe into my heart, my soul, and my life.

This dream represented my life and all that had been lost. I was the disheveled and shabby house in the darkness—empty, abandoned, and void of life—a mere shell of the person I once was. The landing at the top of the staircase was my heart and soul, foresaken and worn by years of abuse. The grandfather clock, still dutifully keeping time in its prostrate position, represented my spirit—damaged, yet still striving to keep the faith while everything around me appeared dark and hopeless. The closet was the chamber that guarded the precious memories of my childhood and my parent’s teachings and wisdom. The discussion at the table was a deep probe into my brokenness, intensely illuminating the realization that I was in need of repair, restoration, and resurrection. The young man to the rescue was all I had ever known of true love up to that moment —a love when I was a young girl—the love my heart had been missing all those years since.

And with this, I began the tedious task of repair–of finding and restoring a part of who I once was–the one God made me to be. I began searching for me– the one I had lost in trying to become what was expected of me. I am still in that process, I suppose. And perhaps I always will be. And that’s ok. Because I grow stronger and find more of me every day. And, as God pieces together what has been broken, I find I am a much stronger vessel, more prepared for His purpose.

“For God does speak–now one way, now another–through man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds,……..” (Job 33:14-15)

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