(this is a dream I had the other night. I wrote it out and posted it as private, but I think I’ll make it public now. I’m not completely satisfied with how it’s written–since I know what the dream was like, reading this just doesn’t do it justice, but….here it is, anyway.)
It was a hazy dream–hazy in the sense that the colors were heightened, and yet some how dimmed. The edges of everything were soft and gentle.
I stood in the middle of a large field of wildflowers. The wind tossed my hair slightly with the breeze, and the hem of my skirt lifted slightly. As I reached down to smooth the folds of fabric, I glanced down. White fabric. A simple dress. I was wearing a white dress which reached to the ground, hiding my bare feet. It looked like a simple wedding dress. Still in a dreamy haze, with everything soft around me, I continued to stroke the folds of my skirt in wonderment. Why was I wearing a wedding dress, and were was I?
I looked around me, and there in the distance were the domed straw roofs of a village. Red mud walls. Broken cardboard doors. A ramshackle tin lean-to. Open fires. Scraps made into dwelling places. A stark contrast to the soft-edged field of wildflowers, and the playful breeze. I looked around me to the other side, and there were the skyscrapers of a rich city–filled with people going about their business, caught in the trap of trying to get the most money. Dirty streets hidden behind the glitzy lights.
My hand instinctively clutched at the fabric of my dress. Where am I?
I slowly began wandering aimlessly, trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing. Why was I in this strange field with a wedding dress on…alone?
A voice haunted the air around me. It couldn’t be considered loud, but it held me captive–the deep voice of a man. I stopped and looked around, completely entranced with the voice. It was a voice I recognized, but had never heard so clearly before. There was no one around who appeared to be the source of the voice–there was no one around at all. The voice seemed to fade into the distance, and I twirled around and around trying to catch a glimpse of the man whose voice I heard. Oh, please speak again! I ached to hear the voice…just one more time.
At that moment, I stopped my frantic searching, and looked straight ahead. The man was coming toward me on a dusty red path which led from the direction of the village and from the direction of the city. I was captivated once again. Not only with the voice, but now with the source. He kept walking toward me–his face was serious, but gentle. His eyes were smiling, though, and when he stopped a little ways from me, I picked up my skirts and ran toward him.
I now realized, as my bare feet ignored the rocks and sticks which I was obliviously running over, that I knew this Man. There was a reason His voice was familiar. I had loved this Man for a long time, and my eyes had longed to gaze into His. He stretched out his hand, and as I ran toward Him, He began to smile. I caught His hand in mine, and looked up into His enveloping eyes.
“Dear one,” He said. “I am Yours and you are Mine.”
I suddenly became aware of the fact that scads of little children had come running into the field from all directions and gathered around us. I brushed my hand over their heads, and tears fell from my eyes as I saw their malnourished bellies. I knelt down in the dirt and gathered as many of them up into my arms as I could–the rest clinging to my dress. I looked up into the face above me, and therein I saw compassion–I saw a love so deep I couldn’t comprehend.
He spoke again, quietly. “These are my children, my beloved ones.”
I kissed the sweaty forehead of a small baby boy. Held tightly to the hand of a young girl who was nearly a young woman. I touched the cheek of every child surrounding me. The crowd around me had expanded to include women and men from the nearby city. Girls from the back-alleys. Boys who had never known the touch of someone who loved them.
I stood up, and as I subconsciously smoothed the skirts of my dress, I noticed the dirty marks all over from the hands of the children–their sweaty palms barely willing to let go of my now soiled skirt. I cherished that soiled skirt, and in that moment I knew I would never leave.
A hand drew me into the arms of the One who I knew understood me better than anyone else–for He had created me from dust and breathed life into me. Life everlasting.
His arms gathered the children together, and in a unified heartbeat, I followed Him. I was a bride in love with her Groom, and He was not only filling my heart with love for Him and His heart, He was, through His own heart, opening my heart wide to those around me–the vulnerable and the strong. The impoverished and the rich. I saw His heart, and I was willing to follow me Groom wherever He led. And in that moment, I realized a great truth that I had before never fully grasped:
Where God leads me, He goes ahead of me. He is right where He leads me.