Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dreams and Other Significant Things

What are dreams? Are they the imaginations of the heart, or the soul at play without imposed limitations to restrict it? Do they have meaning—messages from beyond? And what of unexplained phenomenon—has it a purpose? I think, yes. These are some of my life experiences...

1. Being in White
Age: 10 (approximate)
Location: Dairy Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine

Though it was many years ago, I vividly remember the bedroom I shared with my older sister, JoAnn. It was big enough for our twin beds, which straddled the only heat source in our room, a small register in the floor. The square-shaped register had an iron grid top and bottom. At some point we discovered that the top could be removed, and that we could easily fit one of our sneaky heads down into it, and though upside down, could watch whatever T.V. program our parents had sent us to bed early not to see. I often wonder what fear would have gripped my heart if Daddy had looked up and seen my conniving eyes looking down.

Our bedroom had one window that looked out over the meadows, and on to the woods. The room had three doors, one that led down an enclosed stairwell to the kitchen, a short door that opened to a small cubby, and a door to the attic. The attic held a secret of mine as it became the burial place of a small litter of unfortunate kittens, which my tiny hands lovingly laid to rest amongst the soft, pink fiberglass under its worn boards. JoAnn slept in the bed closest to the window, mine was by the attic door. The door that led downstairs to the kitchen was at the foot of both our beds.

JoAnn had stayed late at a friends house and upon returning, decided to sleep downstairs on one of the two couches in the living room. I awoke during the night and went downstairs for a drink of water. I left the door upstairs open. As I ascended the stairs, my eyes beheld a being, all arrayed in white, sitting on JoAnn’s bed, facing mine. I did not turn and run, but quickly surmised the situation. I looked to the register to see if any light from it could be causing the image I saw. I checked the window and the attic door for any signs of light. There wasn’t any, and yet the being remained, eyes fixed on me. He did not do, or say anything. I suppose he waited for my reaction to him. He presented no danger to me—no reason to fear him, but I did. I’m convinced that a staunch Baptist upbringing entrenched in unnatural fear gripped my young heart, of which I sorely regret. I inched my way over to my bed, snatched a pillow, and then hurried downstairs to the second couch with our family dog, Duchess, by my side. I remember no sleep, but prayed for protection for the rest of the night.

Who was that being, and what was his purpose? Why was he entirely white, from the top of his head, to the bottom of his feet? Did he have a message for me, or perhaps a request? Dare I imagine I hold some importance to him somehow? Or was he merely resting, before continuing his journey?

I do know, as anyone would, that he was not of this world—at that moment at least. Perhaps he was an ancestor returning to stir my heart towards spiritual matters, or an angel of God, whose purpose remains unknown for a while longer?

Whatever the purpose, this undeniable fact remains—there is more to life than meets the mortal eye. I bear firm witness of that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Walking on Water

Don’t you hate it when you have a dream that shocks you awake? The other night I dreamt that Bill and I were on a narrow, well-traveled road. There were other vehicles on the road with us traveling in the same direction, but I don’t remember any coming the opposite way. We all seemed to be moving forward. We were in a terrible storm—heavy rain and wind. I didn’t notice that the road we were on didn’t have any side rails until the wind and rain caused our vehicle to hydroplane off the road and onto the surface of an ocean—pocked with thousands of uniform waves—much like the surface of any water when rained upon. We skimmed the surface of the ocean for about four seconds before I assessed the situation and said, “We’re going to die.” I was shocked awake, and immediately planned our escape from our impending dome (the writer/survivor in me.)

So, I was thinking.

I remember being taught in my youth about the story of Peter. He looked out of his ship and saw Jesus walking on the surface of the water and desired to be with him. Christ told him to come out of the safety of the ship and walk upon the water with him, and with knowledge of the Savior right there in front of him, he took that first step, and then the second, and then the third. I remember as a child being excited to hear that story, I mean, who wouldn’t like to be able to walk on top of water with the Savior? Peter did it, and was doing just fine with his eyes and heart focused on the mark, even Jesus Christ himself, but as he felt the storm around him and looked down, he feared, and slipped into the icy water. I was not disappointed as a child with Peter’s failure, when the rest of the story told of how Christ stretched forth his hand and saved him. As an adult, I see a lot of similarities in my own life.


Faith is to hope for things that you can’t see.

I believe in Christ, but even though through faith, I clearly see the mark before me, how easy it is to “look down” and slip into doubt and fear.

How much this life is like walking on water while the storm rages around us, but if our focus is on the mark, even Christ, we can pass through any trial. We can overcome any obstacle, we can brave any storm, but if we do begin to sink, or even get completely submerged in the icy depths of the ocean, Christ is ever there, stretching forth his hand...

I’m walking on water, and I won’t look down.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We Are Not Alone

Would God create us, dump us in a dying, corruptible world, and then forget us? No! He created our spirits, lovingly placed us in magnificent bodies on a glorious, yet mortal earth, knowing that it, like us, would eventually need to be cleansed and purified before being allowed to return to abide in His presence. He gave us all the tools we need to survive, including a loving Savior, and the promptings of an ever watchful friend and companion, the Holy Ghost.

About six months ago, while sitting at my computer, a clear, intense prompting came to me. I heard a thought, not of mine own, that said, "Cleanse the inner vessel." It's hard to explain. It wasn't like thinking about something because a particular stimulus was placed before me causing me to reflect upon it. It was much deeper, like spirit speaking to spirit. That makes sense to me, because the inner part of us is pure, eternal spirit, and the Holy Spirit is, well, a spirit—spirit, speaking to spirit. For the most part, I have continued to follow that prompting, though I still struggle.

Several years ago in Ohio, I had a similar spirit-to-spirit prompting. I was driving home at about 55 mph on a twisting, tree-lined road, when I heard a "thought", not of mine own, say, "Slow down." I immediately listened. Now, if I had taken the time to question the thought, I wouldn't have followed it, because it made no sense. Slow down? I wasn't speeding, and there wasn't any traffic. But I didn't question, I obeyed, and slowed down to about 20-25 mph for no apparent reason. As I rounded the bend, I came upon two disabled vehicles blocking both sides of the road. I would have been seriously injured, or worse, if I hadn’t been protected by that prompting.

It wasn’t my thought.

So, whose was it? It is experiences like that that cause me to testify that there is a greater existence than that which we see before us. We have great purpose in life—and greater purpose in the eternities. We are not alone—we never have been.