Glory-Bound Train

spirited away

I had a wonderful dream last night that felt like it was produced by Hayao Miyazakim, except that the imagery was even more beautifully vivid than even Studio Ghibli’s works. I was on a train that was headed to paradise — in this case, represented by Key West. The train ran on a single rail (narrow path, single minded, not double), and made very few stops. It was completely removed from all of the traffic, etc., and flowed smoothly through the water on an express route to its destination.

At first, I was nervous about being on the train. I wanted to be in control, and asked my husband if perhaps it wouldn’t be better if we got off and drove to Key West instead. I wanted to be the one behind the wheel, in charge. He talked me out of it, and surrendering, I stayed on the train. I gradually became more and more relaxed and began to enjoy the ride. Looking over at the mainland, I was happy I had listened to my husband and stayed on the train. The people who were trying to drive themselves to Paradise were stuck in awful 24-hour traffic jams, over and over, and never reached their destination.

It felt like the 1950’s, because it was made VERY clear to all passengers that this train was NOT segregated. People of all ages, colors and socio-economic backgrounds were on this train. For a while, I was snuggled up next to a homeless black black man, resting. One woman bullied me out of my seat, but the next time I looked, she was no longer on the train. Some troublemakers and murderers were also removed from the train. This part totally reminded me of the song, “This Train Is Bound for Glory.” You know, “this train don’t carry no liars, this train, etc.”

The train had all sorts of different seating options. There were closed cars and also open cars where you could enjoy the fresh air and get a better view of the scenery. I started off sitting with a couple of folks who were on top of the train, but I became worried that I would fall off and went inside a closed car. In there, it was so hot and stifling that I had my face pressed up against the seam of the window trying to get some fresh air. While looking out that window, I saw another enclosed car full of people wearing snapping turtle costumes. They were in even more stifling conditions. Upon waking, I thought, “These are the very religious who are bound to doctrine and very fearful. They are snappish when others offer differing opinions. But still, they are on the train to Paradise — they simply aren’t enjoying the trip.”

I saw one of my sons sitting on an open part of the train with one of the kitties we had when he was growing up. The kitty came to me in the car I was sitting in (I kept moving from one car to the next) and gave me a tool she had found that enabled me to open the door of that car and move to one like the one my son was sitting in — open air, freedom, and room to move as there were very few others sitting in these “freedom” cars.

When I woke up, I felt so very happy to have seen one of my sons on this train. He has taken such a different path, but in his own eccentric way, believes in the saving grace of Christ. He is more guided by the Spirit than most, even though the bad ones try to throw him off track sometimes. I will keep praying that my other son gets on it as well.

The different cars on this train represent different beliefs about how to get to God, I think, and some are quite stifling. Yet none of those people who had surrendered their lives to God (instead of driving themselves) were going to miss out on Paradise. The thing that keeps ringing through my mind as I type this is, “There is freedom in Christ.” We can have a heck of a good time enjoying the ride. :D

You’ve Already Been Given a Mansion — Will You Believe it and Move in?

Disclaimer: This post has NOTHING to do with politics.

Last night I dreamed that President Trump was my father-in-law and was coming to visit. I frantically tried to fix up our little shack of a house that we bought to be our office. I went to the store, only 10 minutes before closing time, and was frantically buying a bed, a side table, curtains, etc. When I got home with the goods, I realized it was pointless to set all of that stuff up because we hadn’t even laid the floor yet!

But he never came. What he did was send us a plane ticket to New York. Once we were there, Ivana informed me that he had given us their luxury high-rise apartment — just flat out given it to us. I was in such a state of overwhelm that I started crying. She seemed puzzled that I would be surprised by this. After all, he was my husband’s father — of course he would want to take care of us in style! Nothing was required of us. All we had to do was accept the gift.

The next thing I was doing was opening all the windows and looking out at the beautiful view. I wanted to take photos for Facebook and Instagram to let everyone know what I had been given. At one point, I left the building and was stopped by the receptionist when I reentered. I thought, “Oh no, she knows I am an imposter!” but all she wanted to let me know was that I was invited to a family meeting.

Barron was there. He reminds me so much of Sage with his looks of sensory overwhelm. Demons were harrassing him, but I sang and many of them left. Even though he saw himself as a dark person (due to the demonic influence), he still lived in the mansion, and was taken care of. He was a child of his father. This part of the dream is unimaginably comforting to me, as I believe it is God’s way of saying that Sage is in His hands and is His child no matter who he currently thinks he is. Demons like to harrass the Father’s children, unfortunately.

Why Trump? In the parables of Jesus, so often the “King” was used to represent God. Trump, for all practical purposes, is the current king, and makes sense for this story, especially since he owns a mansion way up high and has a son who reminds me of my own. :)

So there is this mansion. Our Father has given it to us. It is so hard to believe that he would give us a gift of such majesty that we continue to try to fix up our shacks, trying to make ourselves acceptable to Him. But he already loves us so much. Once we realize that, we will sell all of our little shacks and move into the treasure that we have found.

Dandelions, the Ego, Karma and Jesus

flowers1

This morning, I took the latest clothing that I sold out to the mailbox and was simply astounded at the beautiful day. So I plopped down in my front yard and laid there for a while. While I was down there with a bug’s-eye view of the dandelions growing in our yard, I felt thankful not to be rich in the typical sense.

I mean, I’m sure the overgrown yard with the dandelions and the woman with dirty bare feet lying in the front yard would go over really well in a ritzier neighborhood. I like not worrying about these things.

I feel really rich in the sense that matters, though. I am abundantly blessed. I cannot think of one way in which I am not blessed.

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Sage had a horrible dream last night. It was his brain torturing him again. I’ve noticed a pattern in his life and my own. Whenever we are glorying in the beauty and goodness of God, the ego throws a fit. The more the ego is denied its way, the more it behaves like a small, evil little child. It’s freeing to step back and simply watch while it has its tantrums instead of thinking that’s who I am. I think I got that point across to Sage as well.

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I’ve been reading Sikh scriptures the past couple of days. They’re really beautiful.

Endless are His Praises, endless are those who speak them. Endless are His Actions, endless are His Gifts. Endless is His Vision, endless is His Hearing. His limits cannot be perceived. What is the Mystery of His Mind? The limits of the created universe cannot be perceived. Its limits here and beyond cannot be perceived. Many struggle to know His limits, but His limits cannot be found. No one can know these limits. The more you say about them, the more there still remains to be said.

I know God is in those scriptures.

There’s a lot about karma there, as well. Karma makes sense, but ultimately, the whole idea bothers me. If I am being nice only in an effort to increase my own karma, then my actions are not coming from my heart. And if I believe that an abused child was an abuser in another life, then that thought kills compassion.

I’ve wondered if Jesus came to obliterate karma. After all, we no longer have to sacrifice lambs to pay for our sins. I was sitting in the yard thinking about this, when the parable of the vineyard workers came to mind.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went.

“He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6 About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.

“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

To me, this sounds like Jesus might be saying that there never was karma in the first place. After all, he told this story about the Kingdom of God before His death. Karma doesn’t exist if a worker for the Kingdom can be hired at the last minute and reap the same benefits.

I like the idea of no karma for me or anyone else. No karma…only open eyes.

A Tiny Touch of Grace

drawing

My husband.

There’s nothing quite like a yelling match with the person you love the most to make you feel like a piece of slime that needs to be cleaned out of the refrigerator’s bottom drawer.

The morning started out with my younger son telling me that no, he could not go to the “bamboo forest” on the local trail with his best friend because he felt too anxious. I’ve wrestled with agoraphobia for years, and this was not welcome news. No one wants their child to live in a box of their own mind’s making.

My mood dark, my husband and I got into a disagreement within seconds of his having got out of bed. It was the kind of disagreement where after about five minutes, one person goes outside and angrily smokes a cigarette while the other person cries and slams doors for sheer physical release.

After I finished slamming doors — yes, that was me, I don’t smoke — I got into the shower. I said a prayer. I was still crying and I didn’t say much. I did ask God to help me not to give in to hopelessness.

Then I went into the back room to draw with markers. I am like a child that way. Darkness recedes when I am using the creative part of my brain, as opposed to the mean tormented part of my brain, say.

I tried to draw a tree. It didn’t go very well. I turned the tree into a face. It turned out to be my husband’s face, and I made it into a card for him.

I think this is how miracles work — most of the time, anyway. It’s like God touched me with a bit of His grace, saying something like “It’s okay — now here’s some love you can give your husband.”

Because believe me, I was not feeling very loving when I was making scribbly marks on the paper.

The hand of God works in little ways that end up being quite big, really.