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.