I've been confronted with the idea that God talks to us in our dreams. It wobbles my Southern-Baptist doctrinal upbringing to even consider this idea as truth. However, Job 33: 14-18 says, But God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in bed. He whispers in their ear and terrifies them with his warning. He causes them to change their minds; he keeps them from pride. He keeps them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death. (Can we believe Elihu's picture of God?)
If that weren't enough, Psalm 16:7 says, I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I found this interesting web site that says, "When you total up all dreams and visions in the Bible, and all the stories and actions which come out of these dreams and visions, you have about one-third of the Bible, which is equal to the size of the New Testament!" (Of course, this same web site offers the services of a "personal spiritual trainer." Not sure what to do with that one.)
Anyway, this idea of God talking to me through dreams really intrigues me. I had a dream a few weeks ago that was so vivid and odd. Betsy suggested it might be from God. When we looked at it, and she asked me tough questions, the Holy Spirit very gently showed me how I'm terrified to let Cami be Cami, that I'm struggling with how to protect my little girl's love of life and Jesus in this big salty ocean world filled with lies and spiritual pollution. The encouragement from the dream? Cami has Jesus. He's her protector. He has big plans for her, to prosper her and not to harm her, for her future and hope. (Thank you, Betsy.)
So I had this dream today.
I know this is a purposeful dream because I didn’t have it during the night. It happened sometime between 9:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. during a morning nap. Besides, it's just too specific to be random.
We were in a large apartment. Michael wasn’t there, and Cami and I were still in our pajamas. I think it was morning because of the context of what happened next.
My mom was living with us---only she didn’t look like my mom. The relationship was there, but she didn’t look like Judy.
The condition of the apartment was normal for our everyday living: clothes and toys and shoes and stuff were scattered everywhere. “Strowed” is the word. The difference? There were rats.
They weren’t everywhere, but I had the knowledge that we had a rat problem, and this was the day I’d have to deal with it. I went to see what my mom was doing, and she was washing dishes. There was a half-wall that stuck out by the sink cabinet, and up on that surface was the hugest rat I have ever seen. Except it was teddy-bear-hamster colored and fluffy.
I said to my mom something like, “I’ll go call the landlord right now.”
As I walked to the phone, I noticed our front door is standing ajar. I thought, “Oh, right—the open house is today.” The apartment complex was having one of those come-see-the-apartments days, so there were people wandering outside in the common halls.
I stuck my head out the door and noticed all the stuff we had sitting outside our door: a pair of flip flops, a bucket of bubbles, I think, other stuff. I thought about trying to gather them, but then realized I was still in my pajamas. I tried to figure out how to pick up our stuff out of the common area without anyone seeing me in my nightgown. I decided, “Whatever. This is how we live. At least they’ll have an accurate picture of what this hall always looks like.” So I closed the door and went back to trying to deal with the rat problem.
Only before the door was shut all the way, an apartment representative tapped on the door and poked her head inside. She was with a woman and her husband who wanted to view our apartment. I reminded the representative that I hadn’t signed up for the open house, and she said, “Oh, that’s right.” She turned to the woman and said, “If you’ll come with me, I’ll be glad to show you a different apartment.”
Only the woman wasn’t going for that. “Oh, but this one is perfect. Come on, honey” to her husband (whom I never actually saw), and she started to shove her way inside my house!
The apartment representative tried to discourage her, her husband (who stayed in the hall) was trying to persuade her to “be reasonable,” but I was more direct. I got right up in her face, almost nose to nose. I said through clenched teeth, “This is MY house. Get out now.” (Like I would EVER talk to ANYONE that way! Only in my dreams!!!)
The apartment representative pulled the lady out the door, and I shut it and locked it. I went back to trying to figure out the rat problem. I said, “I’ll get the landlord over here.”
My mom who didn’t look like my mom said, “The lease says it’s your responsibility to eliminate any pest problems.” She kept washing dishes.
I said, “Maybe he’ll make an exception when I tell him we’ve just seen a rat the size of a possum!”
She shrugged her shoulders and said, “He’ll tell you to read the lease.”
I said, “So do I call an exterminator instead? What do I do?”
The next part of the dream is fuzzy. The scene changes, and I’m dressed and sitting in a chair waiting to sing. The music starts, and it’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” In the dream, some of us start to sing, but only two of us know the words by heart. I hear a voice next to me---a very pretty voice singing the correct words, and I’m marveling that anyone else even knows this song has words---and I look only to be shocked that it’s the woman who tried to push her way into my apartment earlier in the dream.
I start flipping through this music book I have to try to find the song because I don’t remember all the words.
That’s when Cami started knocking on the bedroom door and woke me up.
Things that strike me as significant:
1. Michael isn’t there. (Or is he?)
2. My mom who doesn’t look like my mom: is that Michael? We’ve actually had the conversation about the landlord’s responsibility and “read the lease.” Only we were talking about new carpet, not rats in the house.
3. “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” was the song I walked down the aisle to at my wedding.
4. The date I had the dream? (7-07-07)
So we’ve got my marriage, my friendship(s) with other women, we’ve got my mother, we’ve got renting, and we’ve got rats.
Okay, Holy Spirit. Please reveal this dream to me. Please lead me into all truth.