On the rocks: stirred, not shaken
I had a dream last night, one that has stayed with me all day. Sometimes you just know it’s important.
In the dream I lived alone in the woods. I did not have a house. I had a sort of campsite set on the edge of a level area on a hillside. There were no walls. There was no roof; the cathedral canopy of the trees was my only covering. My bed, my table, my place for preparing food were all large thick slabs of stone set in the open air. I had almost no possessions.
I walked up the hill for a bit and found a small civilized area not far from my living space. One building in particular looked like some sort of store front. I stepped inside and discovered that there was a group of people in there. I didn’t know them, but they were friendly and welcomed me. It seemed that I’d walked in on a karaoke bar, emphasis on karaoke. I didn’t actually see anyone drinking. They just wanted to sing. Everyone would sing but only a couple of people had microphones at any given time. This group obviously knew one another well and were a tight-knit community. They were never anything other than kind and friendly to me, but it was very clear that I was not one of them, even when I was amongst them. They never tried to fool me into thinking that I was. They would occasionally offer me the microphone, almost as if to be polite, but only so I could sing their songs. I always declined because I did not desire to amplify my voice singing their songs; their songs were nice but they felt foreign to my heart. I felt a bit sad that my own song wasn’t welcome, but I knew instinctively that it wasn’t that they didn’t like me. They just didn’t understand who I was or what I had to offer, and all they knew to do was to try to force me through a grid they could understand.
I came and went from this building frequently, always returning to my little open air campsite. A couple of times someone from the group came with me, but they never stayed. They were uncomfortable with the exposure of my lifestyle and would find an excuse to leave almost immediately, and they would return to their group. I wasn’t invited to live with them, but even though there was some sadness and loneliness to living on the stone slabs, I knew I would not be happy trying to pretend I was part of something I really wasn’t, and I felt such a solid purpose to living where I did, as I did. It wasn’t comfortable, but it felt authentic and true and absolutely right.
I woke up and had to drag myself into my waking reality. And I began gathering the puzzle pieces right away, as bits of understanding began to unfold.
I do indeed live on a rock. As is referenced in scripture, my feet are planted on a rock, my house is built upon a rock. Jesus is my rock. Those rock slabs were also altars. They were not built for comfort or convenience, and in my dream every aspect of my daily life required something to be laid out on an altar. Sometimes that something was my entire being as I “rested”. In the dream I longed for community with those who understood who I was and supported me closely, who really knew me, but I could not forsake how true and authentic my lifestyle felt just so I could be more comfortable.
On more occasions than I can count, God has been very kind to essentially provide a map for me with a big X and a sign that reads “YOU ARE HERE”. He shows me some of where I’ve been and some of where I’m going, but mostly He translates where I am in to a visual key so that I can process my thoughts and emotions better and not get blindsided by them. I know there is a lot of that in this dream, a lot of “by the way, you are feeling _________”. And He’s right, now that it’s been brought up. I do feel that way. And I have to make some decisions about how I’m going to handle feeling that way.
I suspect this dream will continue to unfold as I sit with it and Him. Something tells me I’m not done with it by any means.