Mind. Blown.

purple glass heart

Dreams have been a big deal in our house lately. A couple of days ago, my son woke up from a dream in which he had lived for a hundred years, gotten married, had a child and seen the world destroyed. In my son’s dream, he was living in an entirely different world. He was able to tell me what was in the history books of that world and spoke words in that world’s language, which was ancient-sounding and beautiful. It took him two hours to tell me things, and there was always more. It was literally like talking to a really old person who would tell you all the details about the good old days and World War 2, for example.

I just woke up from the most amazing dream myself. Often, when I go to sleep at night, I am asking God to show me the truth. I don’t think ALL of the truth is to be found in church or even the Bible — at least not how it is often interpreted. And sometimes the truth is distorted or twisted. I want the real thing. Last night, I believe I got some answers.

This dream began with me going to visit my son at the treatment center he’s been at three times in the past year. My son would have a pass from the hospital and be out on the street rescuing people from the most horrendous situations. He would ask a helper to escort him back to the hospital when he got tired. There was so much darkness in the world where he was helping that even the maggots from the dead were black. I began to help as well. We had to avoid the maggots and the dead people, because they would contaminate you if you spent much time in contact with them. It was very dangerous to help, because very evil individuals would try to attack you if they so much as saw you helping to rescue other people from their world of child rape, lethal drugs and murder. Perhaps spending too much time with people who are spiritually dead will rub off on you and you will begin to lose your sight. Perhaps my son is helping people (or has demonstrated that potential) and he gets worn out, and yes, attacked.

I spent time out on the street giving balm (coconut butter) to people. You’d rub it in and your skin would look clean and new and be protected. Some people would leave dirt in the balm when they scooped it out, but that was okay. If you have something that can help people, you should give it away freely, no matter what.

The people/spirits who were rescuers had super-powers. We literally flew through the air to rescue some people. We were so joyful, and the reason we flew was to show people who we were. Oprah was one of them, and when I woke up, I realized that she raises people up in life by showing them love and support.

All the destruction and killing meant that pets had been neglected by selfish and blind people or were trapped in hotel rooms. In most cases, they had been living without water and had to be put down. I cried and cried as I rescued these sweet bony animals that had either been woefully neglected or had failed to find a source of water (even though sometimes it was right in front of them in the form of a bathtub having been left full of water, for example.) I felt so heartbroken when I had to give them to the loving people to be euthanized. When I found an animal that had found a source of life, they were in good enough shape for them to be eligible for the shelter to find them a new home. Some people have the source of living water right in front of them, but don’t see it. Others are not provided with it — they are neglected as others carry on their hedonistic, selfish lives. It breaks God’s heart, I think, when he finds people in this state. God rescues them from their hell one way or another, but it makes him so sad.

I got to meet the emperor of this world. The emperor was very concerned about his worldly standing. His son was among the many people that were injured in the general destruction and badness, and the dignitary informing of this gave him a hint that he knew his son was a gay IV drug user. (He had been found with pink peppermint in his veins, lol!) The dignitary gave him plenty of opportunities to admit the injured man was indeed his son, but the emperor continued to deny him, preferring to let his son die rather than to risk losing people’s respect for his standing as emperor. He denied THE SON. This also makes me think of preachers who get on the anti-gay bandwagon because it increases their standing with their base of support. The emperor did not choose love or truth. He chose fear.

After this encounter, I was walking down a staircase admiring a beautiful glass sculpture that had belonged to the emperor. He no longer wanted it. It was very expensive, but I was able to use all my money to buy a small piece that the seller broke off. He took care to break me off the very best piece. It came off in the shape of a light purple heart. When I turned it over in my hand, it made a beautiful musical sound. It was the sound of diamonds being thrown and musically hitting the ground. When I held it in front of me, I got so much power that all I had to do was stretch out my hand and doors were open and walls came down. I didn’t even have to move under my own power. A golden light lit the way as I went far away from the emperor and his men. This was a good thing, because the emperor had realized what he had given up, and was chasing after me for it. Love will break down all barriers.

As we were surveying the absolute destruction, the promenade we were on collapsed, and we began to fall the long distance to our death. A bunch of ugly art was falling alongside me. I was afraid at first — I was falling so fast, and I was thinking about what it might feel like when I hit bottom. Then I took a deep breath and said, “I love you, Lord.” Then the Lord’s peace came over me and I woke up.

I helped a lot of people and animals before I left that place.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is our helper. That He is the Spirit of Truth. I’ve asked God to help me to understand things better, and this dream is what I got. I’m not going to worry about whether or not other people agree with me or not. I’m not going to read other people’s interpretations of scripture and worry about fitting them into my worldview. I am going to trust in God.

Rambling Angry Stuff That May or May Not Have a Point

homeless
Sometimes the pain is so great I feel as though I can’t speak.

Yesterday we endured another visit to the psychiatrist, where once again the S word was tossed about liberally. There were also words like “lifelong,” “chronic” and “disability.”

I am ashamed to say that I have been feeling sorry for myself. I know it is like holding the door open so that the long-toothed depression beast can stroll right on in and make himself good and comfortable. I struggle to maintain a sense of reality.

People do not like to think about the S word. I’m one of them, since I don’t even like typing it. My own parents don’t call and ask how my son is doing or how I’m holding up. I suppose it is painful for them, so they, like almost everyone else, pretend it is not happening, that it does’t exist.

I’m so angry I could spit. Obviously, I’m angry that both of my sons, as well as my brother, have fallen victim to this disease or whatever it is.

I’m angry because I asked for support and didn’t get it. Well, not from the people I asked, anyway. The thing is, I’m well aware that I have no right to my anger because no one owes me — or my son — a thing. And I am blessed because God sent someone into my life who personifies His love, and that person also loves my son and played an instrumental role in our not going to the ER a few days ago for a psych eval.

I don’t know what to do with the anger, though. I want to say hurtful things. I want to blame someone else for this pain.

I feel like I could just explode, I really do. I’d like to see the fake constructs of our society made into visible strips of paper so I could tear them apart and the truth would lie there naked for all to see — and deal with.

We are all like blah, blah, blah. Love others. Love people with mental illness. Love unlovely people. Behind the words “Jesus loves you” are often “but I don’t, not really.” I think this has made it easy for people to mock my savior, this hypocrisy he’s so often associated with. And we all know how Jesus felt about hypocrites. That’s one thing I love about Jesus. He was not fake at all. He lived what he preached.

There was a catalyst to this anger.

My good friend Gen and I were at Starbucks a few days ago, sipping coffee on the patio. There was a man restlessly pacing the sidewalk, muttering to himself. Gen went up to him and asked him if he was okay. I followed.

It turned out he wasn’t okay, which was no surprise. He had suffered the loss of three family members in the space of two months. He was either manic, on drugs or both. We prayed with him.

I have to say that two months ago, this would have been completely outside my comfort zone. I’ll never forget the time Gen and I were in Java Jacks and she said, “Well, let’s pray about that.”

I was thinking, “Here? Now? In front of people?” but kept my mouth shut as I furtively looked around the room to see if anyone was watching.

I’m over that now.

At any rate, this guy was surprised. He said that he wanted to attend church, but didn’t know of one where he wouldn’t be judged. This was a valid concern. I figured some folks wouldn’t be able to get past his wearing swim trunks in public in January.

I realized that I didn’t know of a church I could invite him to, although some Facebook friends had some ideas. I thought about how my son doesn’t fit into most churches and how I couldn’t go to a church that couldn’t embrace people with the S disease, drug addicts, and even criminal histories, even though most probably have good intentions.

Sometimes things are messy.

Sometimes things aren’t safe. That’s okay. Jesus never says that we are supposed to stay safe. He says this instead.

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. — Luke 14:32

I interpret this verse to mean that we may be called to literally give up everything — up to and including personal safety and even our lives, especially in light of this verse:

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:33

What a hard teaching. To me it is clear, though, that hanging onto socially respectable behaviors and ideas about the lifestyle we feel we are entitled to is the wrong path.

I don’t want to attempt to fit the gospel into the lifestyle that I want to have.

Anyway, so Gen and I got into the car and I started to cry. Our encounter with this guy just hurt my heart so much. So many people are lonely and have such awful lives. We have to show them love, we just have to! Love in action is it, it is everything. It is the only way to defeat the devil that I can see.

And I’m thinking, what if there were more people like Gen who were willing to put whatever they are doing on hold to comfort a stranger, to cheer a friend’s son out of suicidal ideation, to randomly warm people’s hearts for no reason other than to lift them up?

Can you imagine the type of world we’d live in??

We’d all see the kingdom of God every day.

Not Knowing

I don’t like not knowing things. If I have a problem I don’t know the answer to, I Google it. This worked very well when I discovered that banana peel would work to rid my younger son of warts when nothing the doctors did was at all effective. Lately, though, I’ve found myself doing bizarre things like Googling “why the voices my child hears are always mean.”

Trust me, Google does not have the answers to these sort of questions.

I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m searching under the bed, looking inside cabinets, dumping out my purse — searching for my joy. I am a person who finds a measure of security in having information, and there are some situations that no amount of human knowledge can touch. This bothers me. Becoming a snowflake is difficult.

There are so many things we just don’t know. This verse comes to mind:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25

uncertainty god universeWe are like the blind men arguing about the elephant. Remember? One guy is holding the elephant’s tail, and swears up and down that the elephant is a skinny, sorta hairy creature — somewhat like a rope. Another has a hold of one of the elephant’s legs, and vehemently disagrees. The elephant, he says, is like a tree trunk. And so on.

I think we have less knowledge of God and how the universe works than these deluded guys did of the elephant. But most people tend to think like me. They like to have the facts so they can feel secure. So they grab onto what they think they know and defend it relentlessly, refusing to consider what other information — mysteries — might exist.

When I took my younger son to the psychiatrist, the good doctor asked to speak to me alone. Once the door was closed, he scooted his chair closer to mine, fixed his eyes fiercely on mine and said, “Now do you believe me? This is real. He needs to take the medicine.”

But what he thinks is real and what I think are real are two different things. The truth, though, likely lies somewhere in the middle.

I intend to keep searching for it.

Telling the Truth Is Scary

throwing Jesus off a cliff

Many people didn’t want to hear things that challenged their worldview.

Jesus always told the truth. People really didn’t like it. The very day He gave a sermon in His hometown, the people tried to drive him off a cliff.

We say that we want to be like Jesus, but do we really?

Do we really want to say the uncomfortable truths that people don’t want to hear? The truths that make people wish you’d just go away and not disturb their comfort?

 

 

 

Here’s one “unpopular” thing Jesus said:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

I don’t think most people want to go there. I know I’m scared to say things that might cause people to dislike me or not take me seriously. But my challenge is to do so anyway. When I think about my purpose in life, what comes to mind is sharing what I’ve learned from experiences that I hope most of you never have.

I’m aware that people like me better when I talk about the designer top I found on sale for $20, share uplifting Bible verses or compliment them on their hair. And those things certainly have a place in life. But there’s so much more. And a lot of it is painful, scary and paradigm-shifting.

So some of the people who read this blog will think I’m crazy. Negative. Too serious.

Some people will enjoy reading what may sound like a particularly bloody train wreck.

And that doesn’t feel good. But it is what it is.